Centre to send a team to Maharashtra for Zika management

Express News Service

LUCKNOW: In the biggest single-day jump in cases, 30 more persons tested positive for the vector-borne Zika virus in Kanpur on Thursday. This has taken the tally of cases to 66 after the first case was reported in the city on October 23.

According to Kanpur chief medical officer Dr Nepal Singh, with Thursday’s confirmation by the National Institute for Virology, Pune, where samples were sent for testing three days ago, of the 66 cases, 45 are males and 21 females.

Zika is a mosquito-borne virus that spreads through the bite of an infected species of mosquito named Aedes aegypti. According to the World Health Organization, the Aedes mosquitoes usually bite during the day, peaking during early morning and late afternoon or evening.

The first case of the infection was reported in an IAF member at the Kanpur IAF station on October 23. Subsequently, three more cases were also discovered from the same area.

Though the state health authorities had rushed teams to Kanpur and an area around 3 km radius, where the infection was found, was marked, new cases are being found in the periphery of the IAF station. The main affected areas comprise Lal Kurti, Mangla Vihar, Tiwaripur, Ompurwa, Jagaipurwa and Shyam Nagar localities, which are in the cantonment area but border the main Kanpur city.

The 30 cases confirmed on Thursday have been reported from new localities such as Bhavanipur and Koyla Nagar, which are beyond the three-km radius area that the health department marked as areas of special interest.

Kanpur district magistrate Vishakh G Iyer visited both the localities with health department officials. He later said seven teams were on the surveillance and they mainly focused on 350 houses on Thursday. As per the health authorities, around 100 teams were already in the field in Kanpur to ensure surveillance of pregnant women in the affected localities.

Kanpur has the second-highest number of Zika cases so far, next only to Kerala where a total of 90 patients have been detected.

On Monday, when only 11 cases were reported, the Uttar Pradesh health department said it has sounded an alert across districts and intensified surveillance under its infectious disease control campaign to identify cases of infection,including the Zika virus, in the early stages.

The following day, CM Yogi had convened an emergency meeting of officials during which he issued directives to apply the Covid “trace, test, treat” formula to check the spread of dengue and Zika infections.