Zika virus outbreak amid COVID in India, around 100 infected
Published: 09:10 PM, 8 November 2021
Outbreaks of the Zika virus have been reported in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, India’s most densely populous state.
The Kanpur health department said on Monday that at least 89 people, including 17 children, had been diagnosed with the Zika virus in the city.
The mosquito-borne Zika virus, first discovered in 1947, reached Brazil in 2015 in the form of an epidemic. At that time, thousands of children were born in the country with microcephaly – a birth defect where a baby’s head is smaller than expected and the brain is not developed properly. Infected Aedes mosquitoes spread the infection through their bites.
Kanpur district chief medical officer Dr. Nepal Singh said the number of people infected with the Zika virus has increased and the health department has formed several teams to curb the spread of the virus.
“One of the victims was a woman who was pregnant,” he said. “We are paying special attention to her.”
Zika virus has been detected in several states of India in the last few years. However, Amit Mohan Prasad, Uttar Pradesh’s top government bureaucrat for health and family welfare, told Reuters that “this is the first outbreak of Zika in the state”.
The first Zika virus was detected on October 23 in Kanpur, an industrial city of Uttar Pradesh. The number of patients has increased in the last week. “People are getting Zika positive because we are doing very aggressive contact tracing,” Prasad said.
He said authorities were stepping up surveillance against the Zika outbreak and eradicating mosquito breeding grounds that could spread the virus.