80 Zika cases in Rajasthan, Nadda says ‘don’t panic, cooperate’

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In a disease review on Tuesday, health minister J P Nadda assures states that there is no shortage of medicines and testing kits

Eighty cases of Zika have so far been reported from Rajasthan, the government of India  said in a statement on Tuesday.

During a disease review health minister J P Nadda, stressed on the need for undertaking exhaustive control measures including intensive fogging for the next month in order to ensure vector control in the area. He also stressed on strengthening surveillance to facilitate the early identification of cases. Nadda urged people not to panic and to cooperate with the health officials in controlling the breeding of the vectors. He further said that there was no shortage of medicines and testing kits and required support will be provided to the State.

Unlike other diseases like dengue and chikungunya, Zika can also be transmitted through sexual contact. That is why World Health Organisation lists contraception and protected sex counselling as one of the key containing measures

A mosquito borne disease spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito that also spreads dengue and chikungunya, Zika is feared because of its association with congenital abnormalities such as malformed brain. This is not the first time Zika cases have been reported in the country but the scale is far bigger this time than last year when three cases were reported from Gujarat. What further complicates matters in Zika is the fact that unlike other diseases like dengue and chikungunya this can also be transmitted through sexual contact. That is why World Health Organisation lists contraception and protected sex counselling as one of the key containing measures.

The statement from the Union ministry of health added: “330 teams have already been deployed in affected wards of Shastri Nagar (Jaipur) and about 434515 population has been brought under surveillance as of today. 86903 houses have been surveyed. 204875 breeding sites were checked for larvae breeding and 74483 were found to have larvae breeding.”

In the meeting, Nadda reassured the states for all support from the Union Government. He said that ministry is in regular contact with state officials. He also spoke to the chief minister of Rajasthan on Tuesday. Secretary (Health) Preeti Sudan too is monitoring the situation on a daily basis in regular coordination with the State Health Secretary.

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