Home >News >India >Maharashtra Zika virus case: Centre rushes high-level team to state

NEW DELHI: The union health ministry has rushed a high-level multidisciplinary team to Maharashtra after Pune reported a case of Zika virus disease.

The three-member team comprises of a public health expert from the office of Regional Director, Pune; a gynaecologist from Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi; and an entomologist from National Institute of Malaria Research (NIMR), ICMR, New Delhi.

“The team shall work closely with the state health department, take stock of the situation on ground and assess whether the Union Health Ministry’s Action Plan for Zika Management is being implemented, and recommend necessary public health interventions for management of Zika in the state," union health ministry said in a statement.

A woman was diagnosed with Zika infection in Belsar village in Pune district. Besides Zika infection, she also had Chickungunya.

According to the officials from the state health department, the woman has completely recovered from the infection. "She and her family members do not have any symptoms," it said in a statement. A government medical team visited the village on Saturday and met the sarpanch and gram panchayat members and instructed them about preventive measures.

Meanwhile, two more people, including a minor girl, were found infected with the Zika virus on Saturday in Kerala, taking the total affected in the state to 63, health minister Veena George said. Both, a 14-year-old girl and a 24-year- old woman, are residents of Thiruvananthapuram, the minister said in a release.

"The infection was confirmed at the tests conducted at the Thiruvananthapuram Medical College Virology Lab and the Public Health Lab," she said, adding that of the 63 cases, three are active and none of them are hospitalised.

Zika virus disease is caused by a virus transmitted primarily by Aedes mosquitoes, which bite during the day. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) symptoms are generally mild and include fever, rash, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, malaise or headache. Symptoms typically last for 2–7 days. Most people with Zika virus infection do not develop symptoms.

Zika virus infection during pregnancy, however, can cause infants to be born with microcephaly and other congenital malformations, known as congenital Zika syndrome. Zika virus infection is also associated with other complications of pregnancy including pre-term birth and miscarriage, as per WHO.

An increased risk of neurologic complications is associated with Zika virus infection in adults and children, including Guillain-Barré syndrome, neuropathy and myelitis.

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