In Pune’s Belsarvillage, where a 50-year-old woman was found infected with the Zika virus, six persons have been found to be infected with chikungunya and one with dengue. They are currently undergoing treatment. The district health department in Purandar, in a collaboration with the community, has launched house-to-house surveys and an awareness campaign in 10 villages. Meanwhile, the Union Health Ministry has sent a multidisciplinary team to Maharashtra to monitor the situation and support the state authorities in the management of Zika virus cases.
Maharashtra state surveillance officer Dr Pradeep Awate told the Free Press Journal, “The Central team is expected to visit Belsar either on Tuesday or Wednesday. They will be informed about the status and how the health department, with the administration and villagers, is containing the mosquito population by chemical, biological and personal protection. Community participation and health education is being undertaken simultaneously,” he said.
Dr Awate said eight to 10 adjoining villages have a population of 10,000 residents. So far, they have covered 3,000 during the ongoing house-tohouse survey. A government medical team visited Belsar on Saturday and met the sarpanch and gram panchayat members and instructed them about preventive measures, the health department said. Zika virus spreads through the bite of the aedes aegypti mosquito and most patients do not have symptoms. Typical symptoms include fever, body ache and conjunctivitis, and pregnant women should be more careful, said Dr Awate.