Mumbai: Health authorities have confirmed three more Zika virus cases in the state: two in Ichalkaranji, Kolhapur, and one in Vadgaon, Pune.
Both patients in Ichalkaranji are over the age of 50.
Till date eight Zika cases have been reported in the state: five in Ichalkaranji, two in Mumbai and one in Pune. Health officials said that state government has started disease surveillance and contact tracing in the areas where the confirmed cases live.
Dr Pratapsinh Sarinkar, joint director of health services, Maharashtra, said none of the patients had travel history. However both are sporadic cases (a single case that cannot be linked to another case), he said.
“The cases in Ichalkaranji do not have any travel history. Both are sporadic cases. However, surveillance is still going on and all close contacts are being traced and their samples are being sent for testing,” he said.
Dr Anita Mathew, director of internal medicine, Fortis Hospital, Mulund, said: “Zika virus is a mosquito-borne infection. So it is important to take measures to avoid a mosquito bite. This will not only prevent us from getting the Zika virus, but also help us stay away from malaria, dengue, or Japanese encephalitis.”
On September 5, three Zika cases was recorded in Ichalkaranji. Mumbai has reported two cases since August 23. A 79-year-old Chembur resident was infected and the National Viral Institute, Pune, confirmed the case. Another case was reported on September 2, when a 15-year-old girl from Kurla tested positive.
Symptoms of Zika include mild fever, rashes, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, malaise, or a headache.
Zika virus can have serious consequences
Dr Jitendra Choudhary, consultant, intensive care and critical care at Hiranandani Hospital Vashi, said, “Zika virus infection can have serious consequences for pregnant women and their babies. It can cause microcephaly, a condition where the baby’s head is smaller than normal, and other neurological problems. Zika virus infection can also trigger Guillain-Barré Syndrome, a rare disorder that affects the nerves and muscles.”