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Zika virus: ‘Don’t panic unnecessarily,’ says Karnataka health department after finding Zika virus near Bengaluru.

By Nov 3, 2023
Zika virus: 'Don't panic unnecessarily,' says Karnataka health department after finding Zika virus near Bengaluru.Zika virus: 'Don't panic unnecessarily,' says Karnataka health department after finding Zika virus near Bengaluru.

Zika virus: The advisory recommends sending serum samples for testing, conducting surveys in affected areas, and reducing Aedes breeding sources.

After discovering the presence of the Zika virus in an Aedes mosquito pool near Bengaluru, the Karnataka Health Department, led by Minister Dinesh Gundu Rao, issued a public advisory. Officials confirmed that mosquito samples collected in August from the Talakayalabetta village in the Chikkaballapura area, about 60 kilometers from Bengaluru, were infected with the Zika virus.

In this regard, the health department issued guidelines for both healthcare workers and the general public. The following measures must be implemented at the field level by the local health authority, the press release stated.

Officials have been instructed to send serum samples from fever cases with symptoms of red eyes, headache, rashes, muscle pain, and joint pain lasting two to seven days to the NIV, Bengaluru Field Unit for testing, as well as serum samples from family members of a positive case, if any.

All pregnant women in areas where aedes mosquito pools or human serum are positive for Zika virus should collect and send their serum and urine sample to NIV, Bengaluru for testing, as ZVD is known to cause microcephaly and other congenital anomalies among newborns, the advisory said.

In addition, the department gave the go-ahead for authorities to survey Aedes larvae, conduct source reduction initiatives, and survey fever in impacted areas. It stated that whenever a human-positive or mosquito pool tested positive for the Zika virus, an area of 5 km diameter should be notified as the ‘Containment Zone’.

In addition, as an emergency measure, the ministry suggested using indoor space spray to lower the number of vectors.

The alert described the typical signs of a Zika virus infection for the general public, which include fever with red eyes, headache, rashes, and joint and muscle pain that lasts for two to seven days. The state’s Department of Health reported that there are currently no human cases of ZVD.

“People should not panic unnecessarily and instead stay informed about the Zika virus.” Typically, clinical illness is not severe. The advisory noted that deaths from severe illness that necessitates hospitalization are rare.

Finally, the advisory instructed the public to follow health personnel’s instructions and make sure that Aedes breeding sources are minimized in and around their homes.

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