Covid-19 Health Nation

Karnataka issues guidelines after neighbouring state Kerala reports 14 cases of Zika virus

New Delhi: Karnataka is on alert after neighbouring state Kerala reported 14 cases of Zika virus. The Karnataka government on Friday (July 9) issued guidelines in order to prevent the spread of the disease in the state. The districts bordering Kerala including Chamarajanagar, Dakshina Kannada, and Udupi have been directed to stay vigilant.

The order by state Health Commissioner Trilok Chandra said that surveillance should be carried in rural and urban areas across the state. “As monsoon season allows proliferation of Aedes mosquito, which is a vector for Zika virus disease, surveillance should be carried in rural and urban areas across the state on war footing,” IANS quoted the order as saying.

The authorities have been asked to dispose solid waste to prevent Aedes breeding in peri-domestic areas. “The vector management should include surveillance of larvae, biological and chemical control at household, community and institutional levels,” the order read.

Pointing out the symptoms of the virus, Chandra said, “Zika virus presents symptoms like fever, rashes, conjunctivitis and joint pain. Travel history or visit of guests should be considered for suspecting the disease.”

The local authority has been recommended to collect samples from suspected cases and send them to National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Bengaluru for testing. “During ultra-sound scanning for pregnant women, focus should be given for presence of microcephaly. If detected, the serum sample of the pregnant women should be sent to NIV for testing,” it added.

Chandra also directed authorities to conduct Aedes larval surveillance and source reduction activities in airports, sea ports and in rural and urban civic wards.

Meanwhile, a six-member central team of experts has been dispatched to Kerala to monitor the Zika virus situation and support the state government in management of cases, the Union health ministry said on Friday.

Zika virus, first reported in India at Ahmedabad in January 2017, spreads mostly by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito, which bites during the day. The same mosquito is responsible for transmitting other diseases like dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever.