New Delhi: As the number of zika virus cases in Jaipur, Rajasthan, rose to 80, the ministry of health and family welfare on Tuesday convened a high-level meeting to review the prevention and control measures.

“There is a need for undertaking exhaustive control measures, including intensive fogging for next month to ensure vector control in the area. People should not panic and cooperate with the health officials in controlling the breeding of the vectors," said Union health minister J.P. Nadda, emphasizing on continuous monitoring of the situation.

Nadda noted that community participation is a crucial area in prevention and urged all stakeholders to start rigorous awareness campaigns on the preventive steps to be taken at the community level. “The Union health ministry is working along with the state government, the local authorities and the municipal corporation for augmenting and strengthening their efforts in vector control, surveillance and awareness activities."

The ministry has deployed 330 teams in affected wards of Shastri Nagar (Jaipur) and 434,515 people have been brought under surveillance. As many as 86,903 houses have been surveyed, according to Rajasthan’s health department. A total of 204,875 sites were checked for breeding and 74,483 were found to have larvae. The health workers undertook on-spot source reduction and containers were treated with temiphose during the survey. Health workers also carried out focal spray and fogging in affected areas.

A control room has been set up at the National Centre for Disease Control to undertake regular monitoring of the situation. “All suspect cases in the defined area and mosquito samples from this area are being tested. Additional testing kits have been provided to the Viral Research and Diagnostic Laboratories. All pregnant mothers in the area are being monitored through the National Health Mission," Nadda had said last week.

Zika is a disease transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes. The disease is being reported by 86 countries worldwide. Symptoms are similar to other viral infections such as dengue, which include fever, skin rashes, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain and headache.

In India, the first outbreak was reported in Ahmedabad in January-February 2017.

In India, the first outbreak was reported in Ahmedabad in January-February 2017. The second outbreak was reported after five months in Krishnagiri district in Tamil Nadu. Both were successfully contained through intensive surveillance and vector management.

The disease continues to be on the radar of the Union health ministry, though it is no longer a public health emergency of international concern, according to World Health Organization notification of 18 November 2016.

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