On Tuesday, October 9, health department officials announced that 29 confirmed cases of Zika virus had been reported in the state of Rajasthan, with most cases concentrated in the Jaipur area. Officials are monitoring 26,000 households and destroying 29,000 breeding grounds for mosquitoes in the locality. Following the outbreak in Rajasthan, health officials in the states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar have issued advisories to keep a close watch on symptoms associated with the viral disease. The National Center for Disease Control in New Delhi has put a control room in place to monitor the situation.
This is the third Zika outbreak in India. The first two outbreaks were reported in 2017 in the states of Ahmedabad and Tamil Nadu. While Zika is usually relatively benign, links between the virus and the birth defect microcephaly (babies born with abnormally small heads) as well as the potentially fatal neurological disorder Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS) have been established. Symptoms can appear two to seven days after contracting the disease and include fever, headache (behind the eyes), conjunctivitis, rash, vomiting, and muscle and joint pain; however, the virus is asymptomatic in approximately 80 percent of cases. The disease is also transmissible via sexual intercourse.
Individuals present in the northern states of India - in particular pregnant women and their partners - are advised to take measures to protect themselves from mosquito bites (e.g. by wearing covering clothing, using insect repellent, and sleeping in a screened-in or air conditioned room) and to eliminate possible mosquito breeding grounds (small pockets of fresh water, such as rain water that has collected in cans, bottles, tires, flower pots, clogged gutters, etc.).
Copyright and Disclaimer