Health Ministry Deploys an Expert Team to Kerala to Take Stock of Zika Virus

Story Highlights
  • A six-member team deployed to Kerala to monitor the Zika virus situation
  • The state reported the first case of a pregnant lady on Thursday
  • Out of 19 samples evaluated by NIV, 13 returned positive for Zika Virus

New Delhi: The Union Health Ministry on Friday deployed a six-member team to Kerala, to monitor the Zika Virus situation in the state.

Addressing a press conference of the health ministry on Friday, Lav Agarwal, said, “Some Zika cases have been reported from Kerala. To monitor the situation and to support the state government, a six-member team comprising public health experts, vector-borne disease experts and clinicians from AIIMS has already been issued instructions to reach there and support the state government in terms of management of Zika there.” 

Kerala reported its first Zika Virus case on Thursday of a pregnant lady who delivered on June 7. Out of the 19 samples sent to the National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune 13 samples returned positive for Zika Virus. 

 Kerala Health Minister Veena George said, “The Health Department and the district authorities are seized of the issue and have taken measures by collecting samples of the Aedes species mosquitoes, which transmit it to people through its bite. All the districts have been alerted about this and measures have started.” 

 Pregnant women should get themselves tested if they have a fever, the health minister said at a meeting of the District Medical Officers (DMOs). 

Pregnant women are particularly vulnerable and can transmit the infection to their newborns which can result in life-altering conditions such as Guillain-Barre syndrome, a rare auto-immune disease. The virus was first discovered in monkeys in Uganda’s Zika forest in 1947.

Kerala Reports First Zika Virus Case; Samples to be Evaluated

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