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Zika virus cases in Rajasthan rise to 51

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Fresh samples have been collected from various parts of by a team from the National Institute of Research (NIMR) as the number of Zika patients in the capital rose to 51.

Of the total 51 patients who have tested positive for the Zika virus, 11 are pregnant women, sources at the Union Ministry said, adding that after Shastri Nagar area, three students residing at in neighbouring have tested positive.

The has already been found in some mosquitoes taken as samples from while few mosquitoes collected from densely populated Shastri Nagar had already been found to be carriers of the virus leading to suspicion they are behind the spread of the infection.

The first case had surfaced on September 22 when an 85-year-old woman with no tested positive for the disease.

Fogging and other anti-larvae activities are being carried out in the Shastri Nagar area to prevent the spread of the virus.

Earlier, a department official had said 30 of the total cases were doing fine after treatment.

At a review meeting held on Friday, measures taken to contain the situation were discussed. The department has also issued an advisory for pregnant women staying outside Shastri Nagar not to visit the area.

A control room has been activated at the for Disease Control to monitor the situation.

The number of monitoring teams in has been increased from 50 to 170 and a special isolation ward created at the to treat Zika virus-affected patients.

The government has been provided information, education and communication (IEC) material prepared to create awareness about the and prevention strategies.

The 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 is significantly smaller than expected, in newborn children.

In India, the first outbreak was reported in Ahmedabad in January 2017 and the second in Tamil Nadu's district in July that year. Both these outbreaks were successfully contained through intensive surveillance and vector management, the ministry had said earlier.

The disease continues to be under surveillance of the Union Ministry although it is no longer a Public Health Emergency of International Concern under WHO notification since November 18, 2016.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, October 13 2018. 20:10 IST