Officials said on Tuesday that a patient of Zika virus is undergoing treatment in Kanpur, but his condition is stable and samples of 22 people who came in contact with him have come negative. The 57-year-old man had tested positive for Zika virus on October 22, prompting the Center to send a high-level multidisciplinary team of medical experts to Kanpur. A few days ago, a case of Zika virus infection (mosquito-borne viral infection) was reported in Pokharpur village of Jajmau area here. Kanpur Divisional Commissioner Raj Shekhar said it was diagnosed at Air Force Hospital, Kanpur.
He said that the administration and health department took necessary measures including diagnostics and preventive measures and on Tuesday he visited the village along with health officials to review the situation. Raj Shekhar said, ‘Till date only one case of Zika virus has been reported in Kanpur. The patient is being treated at Air Force Station Hospital and the patient’s condition is stable. The health department has collected samples of 22 other persons who are family members or close contacts. But all the samples were found negative for the virus, he said. The senior IAS officer said that two expert teams – one from the Center and the other from the UP government – are in Kanpur and working on the matter.
He said expert teams have collected mosquitoes from the sites which will be sent to the National Malaria Research Institute (NMRI) in New Delhi for DNA testing in one to two days. During the site visit, the Chief Medical Officer of Kanpur, Additional Municipal Commissioner and other senior officers were present along with the Divisional Commissioner. According to officials, he interacted with the family members of the Zika virus patient, took details of the case, his travel history and the people who came in contact with him in the recent past. Officials said an awareness campaign about the infection has been launched and measures to prevent the disease are also being implemented.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the Zika virus, whose first outbreak was reported in African countries, can cause pregnancy-related complications and increase the risk of neurological complications in adults and children. The incubation period (time from exposure to symptoms) of Zika virus disease is estimated to be 3 to 14 days. The WHO says that most people infected with the Zika virus do not develop symptoms. These are usually mild, including fever, rash, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, malaise, and headache, and usually last 2 to 7 days, it says. While research is ongoing, there is no cure for Zika virus, but preventive measures include protection against mosquito bites during the day and evening, according to the WHO.