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Health Advisory Issued as Zika Cases Reported in Maharashtra

IndiaHealth Advisory Issued as Zika Cases Reported in Maharashtra

Dr. Atul Goel, Director General of Health Services at the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, has issued a crucial advisory following the emergence of Zika virus cases in Maharashtra.

Advisory Details

Zika virus, known to cause microcephaly and neurological issues in infants born to infected pregnant women, prompts the following measures:

  • Monitoring and Screening: States are urged to ensure clinicians closely monitor and screen pregnant women in affected and nearby areas.
  • Guidelines Adherence: Health facilities treating patients from these areas must adhere to Central Government Guidelines, monitoring fetal growth upon positive Zika tests.
  • Mosquito Control: Hospitals and facilities should appoint nodal officers to eradicate Aedes mosquitoes, carriers of the virus.

Strengthening Surveillance and Awareness

To prevent public panic, states are directed to bolster surveillance and intensify mosquito control across various settings, including homes, workplaces, schools, and health facilities. Notably, Zika cases are often asymptomatic, with no reported cases of Zika-associated microcephaly in India since 2016.

Preparedness and Reporting

State authorities are advised to stay vigilant and prepared, promptly reporting any suspected cases to the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) and the National Center for Vector Borne Diseases Control (NCVBDC).

Testing and Recent Advisories

Zika testing is available at the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune, the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in Delhi, and selected ICMR virus research and diagnostic labs. Recent advisories in 2024 by the DGHS and NCVBDC have highlighted risks from Zika, Dengue, and Chikungunya, all transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes.

Background and Current Situation

Zika, Dengue, and Chikungunya are viral diseases spread by Aedes mosquitoes, posing risks like microcephaly in newborns of infected mothers. India’s first Zika case surfaced in Gujarat in 2016, with subsequent cases reported in various states including Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, and Karnataka.

Conclusion

The Health Ministry’s advisory underscores proactive measures to combat Zika’s spread, ensuring robust surveillance, effective mosquito control, and public awareness. With these efforts, India aims to mitigate potential outbreaks and safeguard public health.

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