Don't Panic, Says Karnataka Government After Zika Virus Detected

The virus was detected in Aedes aegypti mosquitoes after samples from six water bodies in Chikkaballapura were collected and sent for examination.

Don't Panic, Says Karnataka Government After Zika Virus Detected

Zika virus disease is said to cause microcephaly and other anomalies (Representational)

Bengaluru:

In view of the Zika virus detected in mosquitoes in Chikkaballapura district, the Karnataka Health Department on Thursday issued an advisory urging people not to panic unnecessarily and visit the nearest healthcare facility for treatment in case of fever.

The virus was detected in Aedes aegypti mosquitoes after samples from six water bodies in Chikkaballapura were collected and sent for examination.

The advisory has been issued by Commissioner of Health and Family Welfare Services Randeep D.

Symptoms of Zika virus disease are fever with red eyes, headache, rashes, muscle pain and joint pain lasting for two to seven days. Presently, there are no human cases of Zika virus disease in the state.

Persons with fever and mentioned symptoms should visit the nearest healthcare facility for treatment. As there is no specific drug for Zika virus disease, the treatment is symptomatic, it said.

"The suspected/confirmed cases should remain isolated and take sufficient rest, consume a lot of liquids and sleep under mosquito nets. Pregnant women, especially in the 'Containment area' should get their serum and urine samples tested for Zika virus antibody and the 'Ultra Sonography' reports interpreted by specialists for congenital anomalies, if any." 

The public have been asked to ensure that the Aedes breeding sources are reduced in and around the houses and comply with the instructions given by Health staff and ASHA during the Aedes Larva survey.

"Use of personal protection measures, wearing clothes to cover the body completely and sleeping under bed nets even during daytime should be ensured," the advisory stated.

It has also listed several measures to be implemented at the field level by the local health authority under the supervision of the respective district administration.

According to the advisory, Serum samples of those fever cases with symptoms of red eyes headaches, rashes, muscle pain and joint pain lasting for two-seven days may be sent to the National Institute of Virology (NIV), Bengaluru Field Unit for testing.

The serum sample of the family members of positive cases, if any, should be submitted to NIV, Bengaluru for confirmation.

Since Zika virus disease is said to cause microcephaly and other congenital anomalies among newborns, the serum and urine samples of all pregnant women in areas where Aedes mosquito pools/ human serum are positive for Zika virus should be collected and sent to NIV, Bengaluru for testing.

As the Zika virus is spread by Aedes mosquitos, the same vector of Dengue and Chikungunya, Aedes larva Survey and Source Reduction activity and fever survey should be intensified in the field, both Urban and Rural, it said.

The advisory added that an area of five km diameter should be notified as the 'Containment Zone', whenever a human positive or mosquito pool is tested positive for the Zika virus.

House-to-house visits for the Aedes larva survey and fever survey should be conducted in the contaminated area, daily by Health staff and ASHA and additional staff and ASHA may be deployed from neighbouring Prime Healthcare Centres, if necessary.

"The Aedes larva index in the containment zone should be monitored daily to ensure quality surveillance. Indoor space spray (with Pyrethrum two per cent extract) should be carried out on every alternate day to reduce the adult vector density as an emergency intervention," it said.

"Pools of Aedes mosquitoes (both field collected and lab emerged) should be sent to NIV, Bengaluru Field Unit on fortnightly frequency for Zika virus testing from areas reporting high vector density, fever cases/ suspected Zika virus disease." The Health Commissioner has also asked the respective district administration in the state to conduct intensified sessions at all levels to create awareness.

The advisory also said that necessary intersectoral coordination should be obtained from allied departments such as Urban Local body to spread awareness among the community.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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