3 Zika cases in Ahmedabad in January
The Union Health Ministry has confirmed that three cases of Zika virus attack were reported from Ahmedabad in January. The information was made public five months after the cases were reported as the World Health Organization (WHO) published a 'member state report' on their website.
According to the Ministry, three laboratories confirmed cases of the virus were reported from Bapunagar area in Ahmedabad. The virus is transmitted to people through the bite of an infected mosquito called Aedes Aegypti, which also transmits dengue and chikungunya.
The Ministry maintains that the outbreak has been contained. "We have been keeping a close watch and no other case has been reported since January. We are conducting tests routinely and the situation is under control," said Arun Panda, additional secretary in the ministry.
"We have a strong surveillance system in place and also maintaining high standards of monitoring. When both the women and her child are safe, there is no need to get panic," the official said.
According to the WHO report, routine laboratory surveillance detected a confirmed case at BJ Medical College. The case was further confirmed by the National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune, on January 4, 2017. Two additional cases were identified through the surveillance.
One of the patients was a 34-year-old pregnant woman, who delivered a healthy child on November 9, 2016. "During her hospital stay, she developed a low-grade fever after delivery. No history of fever during pregnancy and no history of travel for the past three months was reported," states the WHO report.
"A sample from the patient was referred to the Viral Research & Diagnostic Laboratory (VRDL) at the BJMC for dengue testing and thereafter it was found to be positive for Zika virus. She was discharged after one week (on November 16, 2016). The sample was re-confirmed as Zika virus positive by RT-PCR and sequencing at the NIV," it adds.
ICMR has tested 34,233 human samples and 12,647 mosquito samples for the presence of the virus.