Kerala Health Minister Veena George
Kerala Health Minister Veena George

With cases of Zika virus being reported in Kerala, the state has been facing challenge along with COVID-19 outbreak. Health Minister Veena goeorge informed that there are currently 14 cases of Zika virus in the state. "Our dept is on high alert and monitoring the situation closely", she said on Saturday.

Besides updating about covid situation in state, Veena said "we've always tried to keep number of cases below medical capacity." "No one died in Kerala due to lack of oxygen supply," she added.

In the wake of rising cases of Zika virus, the Centre on Friday said that a six member team has been sent to Kerala to monitor the virus situation. The team comprises health experts and vector-borne disease experts. The situation is under constant monitoring of the central government, Agarwal said.

In the first case of Zika virus in Kerala, a 24-year-old pregnant woman has been diagnosed with the mosquito transmitted disease, State Health Minister Veena George informed on Thursday. On Friday, cases of Zika in Kerala went up to 14, following with the state government has sounded an alert.

All samples tested positive for the Zika virus were collected from the Thiruvananthapuram district and sent to the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune.

"The disease was reported in a 24-year-old pregnant woman from Parassala who was undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Thiruvananthapuram. On June 28, the woman was admitted to the hospital with fever, headache, and red spots. Her samples showed that she contracted Zika virus, for confirming the samples have been sent to National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune," said Veena George.

Meanwhile, its neighbouring state Kerala has instructed its Health Department officials to intensify vector control measures in the state. The districts of Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, Chamarajanagara, bordering Kerala, have been asked to be more vigilant.

Zika virus spreads mostly by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito, which bites during the day. Aedes mosquitoes are the same that transmit dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever. The virus can be passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus and can cause infants to be born with microcephaly and other congenital malformations.

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