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Zika virus outbreak: No need to panic, says health minister JP Nadda amid reports of PM Modi seeking report

Zika virus outbreak: No need to panic, says health minister JP Nadda amid reports of PM Modi seeking report

22 cases of Zika virus has been confirmed in Rajasthan.

NEW DELHI: Following reports of 22 people testing positive for the Zika virus in Rajasthan’s Jaipur, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has sought a comprehensive report on the matter from the Health Ministry.

Health minister JP Nadda, however, assured that there’s no need to panic and the situation is under control.

“Our surveillance is very robust, all such cases get detected. We’ve standard protocols. ICMR, National Centre for Disease Control & DGHS are monitoring this. I assure people that everything is under control,” said Nadda.

“There’s no need to panic,” he added.

The Health Ministry on Monday confirmed 22 cases of Zika virus in Rajasthan, stressing that precautionary measures are being taken by the Centre followed by daily monitoring.

“A total of 22 positive laboratory-confirmed cases have been detected. A control room has been activated at the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to undertake regular monitoring of the situation,” said the ministry in a statement.

The ministry is also closely monitoring pregnant women in the region, since the virus can cause severe birth defects in unborn children.

One of those those affected in Jaipur hails from Bihar and recently visited his Siwan home. Following this, the state has issued advisories to all its 38 districts to keep a close watch on people showing symptoms similar to Zika virus infection.

The Toronto-based International Association for Medical Assistance to Travellers said it was advising pregnant travellers to postpone trips to the area, part of India`s tourist “golden triangle” of Delhi, Jaipur and Agra, home to the Taj Mahal.

First discovered in 1947, the zika virus reached epidemic proportions in Brazil in 2015, when thousands of babies were born with microcephaly, a brain defect affecting speech and motor function.

It is the third such outbreak in India, with the first in Ahmedabad in January 2017 and the second in Tamil Nadu in July 2017. Both outbreaks were “successfully contained”, the government said.

     

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