Zika virus in Kerala: 73-year-old woman tests positive, tally reaches 19

Kerala Health Minister Veena George on Monday informed that one more of case of Zika virus has been found in the state taking the tally of active cases to 19. "A 73-year-old woman, who was treated at a private hospital in the capital city Thiruvananthapuram was diagnosed with the virus, the health minister said.

At the same time, five samples sent to the National Institute of Virology (NIV) unit at Alappuzha tested negative for the virus, she said in a release.

On Sunday, three more, including a toddler, were found to be infected by Zika virus. The government has arranged testing facilities at Thiruvananthapuram, Thrissur and Kozhikode Medical colleges and also at theNational Institute of Virology (NIV) unit at Alappuzha. "A 22-month-old toddler was found infected. A 46-year- old man and a 29- year-old health worker had been found infected.

George also said out of the 27 samples which were sent for testing in two batches, 26have turned out ot be negative. Out of the third batch with eight samples, three were found infected on Sunday.

According to the health department, 2,100 test kits were received from NIV Pune and 1,000 have been given to Thiruvananthapuram, 300 each to Thrissur and Kozhikode and 500 to NIV in Alappuzha.

"The Thiruvananthapuram medical college received 500 Triplex Kit which enables the simultaneous detection and differentiation of RNA from dengue virus, chikungunya virus and Zika virus and 500 singleplex kits which can detect Zika virus alone," the Minister said in the release.

She also said that hospitals had been instructed to test those patients, especially pregnant women, with fever, rashes and body pain.

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