Kerala is now put on alert following the outbreak of the Zika virus in the state. The number of cases due to the mosquito-transmitted disease went up to 14 on Friday following confirmation of 13 additional samples by the National Institute of Virology.
Meanwhile, the Centre rushed a team of experts to monitor the situation and aid the state government in the management of the cases after 13 new ones were confirmed.
Of the 19 samples sent to the Pune-based institute, 13 were found to be positive for Zika, the State government said on Friday. The symptoms are similar to dengue and they include fever, rashes and joint pain.
Among the infected is a 24-year-old pregnant woman, who was diagnosed with the mosquito-transmitted disease on Thursday, making her the first person to be infected with the virus in the state.
State health minister Veena George said an action plan has been drawn up to control the spread of Zika. Pregnant women should get themselves tested if they have a fever, the Minister said at a meeting of the District Medical Officers (DMOs).
Following the emergence of the Zika virus, the Centre rushed a team of experts to support the government in handling the situation. Joint Secretary in the Union health ministry, Lav Agarwal, told reporters in New Delhi that “there are some Zika cases which have been reported from Kerala.”
“To monitor the situation and to support the state government, a six-member team, comprising public health experts, vector-borne disease experts and clinicians from AIIMS has already been issued instructions to reach there and support the state government in terms of management of Zika there,” he said.