Kerala has detailed 65 Zika virus cases as on August 2, 2021, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya briefed the Lok Sabha on Friday. The state capital Thiruvananthapuram has notified 61 such cases, Ernakulam two cases, and Kottayam and Kollam one case each, he said in a written reply.
Detailing on the action adopted by the government, Mandaviya said the Union Ministry of Health has prepared and widely disseminated Zika action policy, elaborating control and containment activities to be followed in the event of an outbreak. The ministry performs vector surveys through regional offices of the Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, in international airports and their neighborhood in the country.
The minister further noted that the Central Cross Checking Organisation (CCCO) of NVBDCP implemented entomological surveys in the designated international airports of the country to maintain Aedes breeding free status. Recommendations are issued to all states and UTs for strengthening of vector control activities and availability of insecticides and monitor the functioning of fogging machine status through monthly reports from the state.
Surveillance for microcephaly in newborns is being undertaken under the Ministry of Health’s Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK), he told the House. No soar in cases of microcephaly has been reported from Kerala so far, he said.
Mandaviya also told that central multi-disciplinary groups have been placed to investigate and support state health departments in control and containment activities during all these epidemics. In the current epidemic in Kerala too, a multi-disciplinary central squad had visited Kerala from July 10 to 21, 2021 for backing state health department in control and containment measures, he said in the written reply.
Zika virus infection is caused by a virus transmitted mainly by bite of Aedes mosquitoes. It is usually a mild disease manifesting as fever, rash, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, malaise or headache. Most people with Zika virus contamination do not develop indications. However, Zika virus disease during pregnancy can cause infants to be born with microcephaly and other congenital malformations, known as congenital Zika syndrome, the reply stated.
The disease was first detailed in India in 2017, it added.