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Zika Virus Confirmed for the First Time in Kerala

In Health, Kerala
July 10, 2021

A case of Zika virus has been confirmed for the first time in Kerala. The mosquito-borne Zika virus in the state was identified when tests were carried out on a pregnant 24-year-old woman from Parassala who got admitted recently for delivery at KIMSHEALTH Thiruvananthapuram.

Through this, KIMSHEALTH has come to the forefront of detecting and treating Zika virus disease, which is a new occurrence in the state that is grappling with the Covid pandemic.

The symptoms exhibited by the woman were fever, bloating of the body and redness of the eyes. She was immediately referred from the Obstetrics and Gynecology Department to the Infectious Diseases Department of the hospital.

Although the Infectious Diseases Department Associate Consultant Dr. Muhammed Niyas conducted tests for chikungunya and dengue, both turned out to be negative. The blood sample was then sent to Coimbatore’s Microbiological Lab for the Zika Virus PCR test. On the fourth day, the result came confirming Zika virus in the patient.

For a reconfirmation of the report, the sample was sent to the National Institute of Virology. Since the patient did not suffer from other complications, she recovered within six days and gave birth to a healthy baby.

Infectious Diseases Department Senior Consultant Dr. Rajalakshmi Arjun and her team were in charge of the treatment.

Aedes mosquitoes which transmit dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever are the cause of Zika, said Dr. Niyas.

Although Zika disease is not contagious, pregnant women need to extremely careful. The virus can be passed from a pregnant woman to her foetus and can cause infants to be born with congenital malformations, he added.

“Mosquito eradication should be given priority and pregnant women should protect themselves from mosquito bites through the use of mosquito nets and other means,” Dr. Niyas said.