Mosquito-borne Zika Virus creates hectic atmosphere in Uttar Pradesh as more than 89 people tested positive including 17 children.
In a surge of cases, 10 more people, including three Indian Air Force personnel, tested positive for the Zika virus in Kanpur on Sunday, 7 November. The first case of Zika in the district was detected on 23 October and the number has been increasing steadily since then.
The district administration has stepped up surveillance to check its spread, health officials said, according to IANS. Dr Nepal Singh, chief medical officer of Kanpur district told Reuters that amid the surge in cases of the virus, the health department has formed several teams to contain the situation.
First discovered in 1947, the mosquito-borne Zika virus reached epidemic proportions in Brazil in 2015, when thousands of babies were born with microcephaly, a disorder that causes abnormally small heads and underdeveloped brains.
Zika virus that spreads through the bite of an infected Aedes species of mosquito, which bites during the day. Symptoms of this disease are mild fever, rashes, conjunctivitis, muscle, and joint pain, and headache. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Aedes mosquitoes usually bite during the day, peaking during early morning and late afternoon or evening.
Health teams had collected blood samples of 525 people on Thursday, Friday and Saturday which were sent to the virology lab of the King George’s Medical University in Lucknow and the National Institute of Virology in Pune for testing.
On Saturday, 13 people had tested positive for the Zika virus. One case was also reported from the neighboring Kannauj district.
To check the spread of the disease, health teams are undertaking sanitisation programmes, including anti-larvae spraying and identifying fever patients, screening seriously ill people, and pregnant women.
So far, a total of 3,283 samples have been collected from the city and sent to the virology lab of KGMU in Lucknow and NIV in Pune for testing. A high alert has been sounded in the periphery of hangars of the IAF station, official said.