Rajasthan: 29 People Test Positive in Biggest Zika Outbreak in History of India

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JAIPUR:
Twenty-nine people from Rajasthan have tested positive for Zika virus, said senior officials of the state’s Health Department on Tuesday. According to the officials, the first case of Zika Virus was reported on September 23, following which tests by the authorities established traces of the virus in the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes on September 26.

“Twenty nine people have tested positive so far for Zika virus and all the cases are from Jaipur’s Shahstri Nagar area. Around 450 samples have been sent for testing of which 160 are of pregnant ladies,” said Veenu Gupta, additional chief secretary, Medical & Health and Family Welfare Department, Rajasthan.

She added that among the 29 people tested positive, three are women, who were expecting children, and one gave birth on Monday night. Gupta denied reports of laxity on part of the state government in containing the disease and said that around 150-200 teams along with administrative officials are combing the affected area to search for more people who might be affected.

Doctor P Ravindran, who is director of Emergency Medical Relief under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, said the present outbreak of Zika in Rajasthan was the biggest in the history of India till now, surpassing the past two instances in Ahmedabad and Krishnagiri in Tamil Nadu.

“More than 26,000 homes have been surveyed by officials with the help of teams from the health department along with 29,000 breeding places for the mosquito that carries this virus. We have dedicated all our machinery to contain the disease,” said Gupta. She added that five laboratories have been set up in the state in Jaipur, Jodhpur, Jhalawar, Udaipur, and Kota for testing of samples.

“So far, no cases have been reported from outside Jaipur. In the state capital, all the cases have been reported from Shastri Nagar area. We have started awareness campaigns to educate people about the disease. Although we are facing difficulties, at times, because some people are not allowing us to check their homes or are reluctant to provide their blood samples for testing,” said Gupta.

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