Kerala reports first case of Zika virus

Kerala reported its first identified case of Zika Virus in Thiruvananthapuram district on Thursday. A 24-year-old pregnant woman has been diagnosed with the mosquito-transmitted disease, Kerala’s Health Minister Veena George said.  

Hailing from Parassalain in Thiruvananthapuram, the woman was reportedly suffering from fever, headache and red marks on her body and was admitted to hospital on June 28. She delivered her baby on July 7 and is currently undergoing treatment at a private hospital in the state.

Tests were conducted in the hospital, which reported that she was positive for Zika virus, following which samples were sent to the National Institute of Virology, Pune. Although she has no history of interstate travel, her house is situated on the border of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Her mother has also exhibited somewhat similar symptoms, reports said.

Following this, 19 samples were sent from Thiruvananthapuram to NAV, out of which 13 are expected to be positive and are awaiting confirmation, the Health Minister told PTI.

There is no need to panic, the health ministry said, as massive vector control measures are being launched to check the new virus.

Zika Virus was first reported in Africa. The infected usually show symptoms of dengue, with fever and itchy skin. It is especially dangerous if a pregnant woman comes into contact with it, as it can trigger birth defects in the newborn and lead to Gullain Barre Syndrome in adults (a form of temporary paralysis). 

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