The number of people infected with Zika virus rose to 109 in Rajasthan on Friday. According to a spokesperson of the state medical and health department, the nine new cases confirmed were from Jaipur.
However, 91 Zika virus infected patients are healthy now after treatment, he said, adding the department is making all efforts to contain mosquito larvae in the affected area.
Most of the cases have been reported from densely populated Shastri Nagar locality of the state capital.
The first positive case of Zika virus in Jaipur was reported on September 21 which alerted the authorities both at the state and the centre.
In view of the rising cases, the Centre on Wednesday rushed an Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) team to the state to intensify vector control measures.
The team of experts from ICMR has changed the insecticides which are being used in the city and neighbouring districts to kill mosquitoes that spread Zika, dengue, and chikungunya viruses as a part of the integrated mosquito management programme.
Intense fogging and other anti-larvae activities are being carried out in the areas from where cases have been reported.
Zika virus, transmitted through the aedes aegypti mosquito, causes fever, skin rashes, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain. It is harmful to pregnant women, as it can lead to microcephaly, a condition in which a baby’s head is significantly smaller than expected, in newborn children.
The state health department has advised pregnant women not to visit the affected areas.
In India, the first outbreak of Zika virus was reported in Ahmedabad in January 2017 and the second in Tamil Nadu’s Krishnagiri district in July that year. Both these outbreaks were successfully contained through intensive surveillance and vector management.
The disease is under surveillance of the Union Health Ministry although it is no longer a Public Health Emergency of International Concern under the WHO notification since November 18, 2016.
On Tuesday, the Union Health Ministry directed the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to monitor the cases on a daily basis and urged people not to panic.
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