Zika virus in Kerala: 14 cases confirmed; central team of experts dispatched to monitor situation
Zika virus in Kerala: 14 cases confirmed; central team of experts dispatched to monitor situation
AFP PHOTO

Zika virus cases in Kerala went up to 14 on Friday with the National Institute of Virology (NIV) confirming 13 more cases.

The first case was reported on Thursday after a 24-year-old pregnant woman was diagnosed with the mosquito-transmitted disease.

Following this, the southern state has been put on alert.

Of the 19 samples sent to the Pune-based institute, 13 were found to be positive for Zika, according to the Kerala government.

The symptoms are similar to dengue and they include fever, rashes and joint pain.

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 fever, the Minister said at a meeting of the District Medical Officers.

Meanwhile, a six-member central team of experts has been dispatched to Kerala to monitor the Zika virus situation and support the state government in management of cases, the Union health ministry said on Friday.

At a press conference, joint secretary in the health ministry Lav Agarwal said, "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."

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