Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu reports first case of Zika virus

Tamil Nadu has reported its first case of Zika virus in a 27-year-old man from a village in Krishnagiri district. The case was diagnosed on July 1 and the man, who was treated as an outpatient, is reported to have recovered completely. In May this year, the World Health Organisation confirmed the first cases of Zika in the country — three cases had been detected in Ahmedabad, Gujarat in January.

The patient, from N. Puttur, Natrampalayam Panchayat, Denkanikottai Taluk, had fever, redness of the eyes, headache, photophobia and weakness among other symptoms, and had gone to the Anchetty primary health centre on June 28, where he was treated with paracetamol. When he came in again the following day, blood, urine and throat samples were collected and sent to the Manipal Centre for Virus Research. When all routine tests including dengue, chikungunya, leptospirosis, malaria, scrub typhus and influenza came out negative, the centre did an RT-PCR test for Zika and found it to be positive. Subsequent tests at the National Institute of Virology, Pune, too found the urine sample positive for Zika.

Control measures were taken to prevent the spread of the virus and expanded to the whole block, Health Secretary J. Radhakrishnan told the media at a presser he jointly addressed with Health Minister C. Vijaya Baskar.

Samples from three other patients in the area with fever were sent to the King Institute of Preventive Medicine, Guindy, where they tested negative. The State had already implemented guidelines and action plan for Zika at international ports and airports and does a daily review of the fever situation, he added. It is not known how the patient was infected — three months ago, he had visited two neighbouring States — however it is thought possible, at this stage, that infection was circulating locally.

In India, the virus was circulating in the 1950s, said Soumya Swaminathan, director general, Indian Council of Medical Research. “The surveillance system here is working,” she pointed out. Over 40,000 suspected cases of Zika have been tested in the country, she said. Director of Public Health K. Kolandaisamy said approximately 200 cases had been tested at the King Institute so far in T.N.

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Printable version | Oct 1, 2022 6:18:20 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/tamil-nadu-reports-first-case-of-zika-virus/article19254690.ece