65 Zika virus cases in Kerala as on August 2: Mandaviya

65 Zika virus cases reported in Kerala as on August 2: Health Minister Mandaviya tells Lok Sabha

Surveillance for microcephaly in newborns is being undertaken under the Ministry of Health's Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK), he told the House

Union health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya. Credit: PTI File Photo

Kerala has reported 65 Zika virus cases as on August 2, 2021, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya informed the Lok Sabha on Friday.

The state capital Thiruvananthapuram has reported 61 such cases, Ernakulam two cases, and Kottayam and Kollam one case each, he said in a written reply.

Elaborating on the measures taken by the government, Mandaviya said the Union Ministry of Health has prepared and widely disseminated Zika action plan, detailing control and containment activities to be followed in the event of an outbreak.

The ministry conducts vector surveys through regional offices of the Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, in international airports and their surroundings in the country.

The minister further noted that the Central Cross Checking Organisation (CCCO) of NVBDCP carries out entomological surveys in the assigned international airports of the country to maintain Aedes breeding free status.

Advisories are issued to all states and UTs for intensification of vector control activities and availability of insecticides and functioning of fogging machine status is monitored 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 rise in cases of microcephaly has been reported from Kerala so far, he said.

Mandaviya also said that central multi-disciplinary teams have been deployed to investigate and support state health departments in control and containment activities during all these outbreaks.

In the current outbreak in Kerala too, a multi-disciplinary central team had visited Kerala from July 10 to 21, 2021 for aiding state health department in control and containment measures, he said in the written reply.

Zika virus disease is caused by a virus transmitted primarily 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 infection do not develop symptoms.

However, Zika virus infection 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 reported in India in 2017, it added.