Updated: August 1, 2021 7:17:40 am
The first case of Zika virus infection in Maharashtra has been reported from Purandar tehsil in Pune district. A 50-year-old woman from Belsar village in Purandar tehsil was detected with fever in mid-July and her sample tested positive for Zika infection, in a test conducted by the National Institute of Virology (NIV), on July 30. She was also detected with chikungunya.
Zika is a mosquito-borne disease and while surveillance has been stepped up, the disease presentation has been mild, state Surveillance Officer Dr Pradeep Awate told The Indian Express. Of the three members in the family, the woman had the co-infection of Zika and chikungunya, her daughter had chikungunya fever while her son didn’t have any of the infections. However, all of them are stable, said Dr Awate.
The common symptoms of the disease are body ache, conjunctivitis, retro-orbital pain and skin rashes, Dr Awate said. The woman had symptoms from July 15 and her sample tested positive for Zika virus and chikungunya infection on July 30, said Dr Awate.
As part of surveillance, samples of village residents who had fever, and who had reported to the Primary Health Centre at Belsar, were sent to the NIV in Pune. Initially, five samples were sent on July 16, of which three were detected with chikungunya.
A team from NIV, under the guidance of scientist Dr Yogesh Gurav, visited the village and collected 41 samples from Belsar and Parinche villages. Of these, 25 tested positive for chikungunya while three tested positive for dengue virus, said Dr Awate, who visited the village along with the state surveillance department team.
“We have taken immediate measures like surveillance of fever cases at seven villages located within 5 km of Belsar village, where the woman was detected with Zika virus infection. The infection is also caused by the aedes aegypti mosquito, which also causes dengue and chikungunya. We have also issued strict instructions to specially exercise precautionary measures for pregnant women as those who contract Zika virus infection are at risk of miscarriage,” said Dr Awate.
Meanwhile, the Pune district administration has urged people not to panic because of the Zika infection. “It is due to the proactive work of the field teams that the case was detected. We are working hard to contain the spread and make the best healthcare available to our residents,” said a district health official.
According to experts, when symptoms of Zika virus infection do occur, they usually begin two to 14 days after a person is bitten by an infected mosquito. Symptoms usually last for about a week and most people recover fully.
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