The Maharashtra health department has detected a case of Zika infection in a seven-year-old young girl from an ashram shala in Jhai village in Palghar district (along the Gujarat border). This is the second case of Zika infection in the state . The first case was detected in a woman from Belsar village of Pune district in August last year.
Zika is a mosquito-borne disease and while surveillance has been stepped up, the disease presentation has been mild, state health officials have said. There are around 224 children in the Ashram Shala and 13 of them had fever. They have been kept under close observation at Sub district hospital Dahanu and samples that have been sent to National Institute of Virology (NIV) have tested positive for Zika (one case) and seven for H1N1 virus (swine flu), Maharashtra health officials said.
Immediate measures like surveillance of fever cases within 5 kms of the Ashram Shala has been undertaken. The children are mainly from Talasari and Dahanu areas of Palghar district . As part of the surveillance samples will be collected of the remaining children and sent to testing to NIV. Entomological surveillance will also be carried out and strict instructions have been issued to exercise precautionary measures for pregnant women as those who contract zika virus infection are likely at risk for miscarriage.
Zika virus is similar to dengue fever and is carried by infected aedes aegypti mosquitoes. Zika is largely transmitted through bites. Vector borne diseases are on the rise in certain pockets and mosquito control should be given top priority by field officers, state health authorities have instructed. The state has lately been affected by heavy rainfall and epidemiological surveillance is being carried out on a war footing, Dr Pradeep Awate, Maharashtra surveillance officer has said.
Dengue, chikungunya cases spiral
Till July 7 this year Maharashtra has reported 1365 dengue and 458 chikungunya cases. Last year till July, the state had reported 2792 cases of dengue and 19 deaths. There have been no dengue-related deaths this year, according to state health officials. Districts of Pune, Kolhapur, Yavatmal, Palghar, Satara, Thane, Gondia, Solapur and Raigad have shown a rise in dengue and chikungunya cases. Pune district has reported 152 dengue cases while there are 143 cases of dengue in the city. Kolhapur district has reported 154 cases of dengue while there are 55 cases in Kolhapur city. Pune district has reported 113 cases of chikungunya while PMC areas have 73 cases. Kolhapur district has reported 55 cases of chikungunya while there are 64 cases in the city
5 cholera deaths at Amravati
Dr Pradeep Awate, Maharashtra surveillance officer, said that cholera outbreak had started in Chikhaldara and Amravati blocks of Amravati district. In some parts of the state, there are outbreaks of diarrhoeal diseases and there were five deaths due to cholera in Amravati district. The ongoing outbreak is in three villages of Chikaldhara block (Dongri, Koylari and Ghana) and one village (Naya Akola) in Amravati block. Until now 181 patients have been diagnosed and five have succumbed to cholera infection. Two were women and three were men. Three patients were in the age group 24-40 years and two were over 70 years old. Medical teams are working round the clock in the outbreak affected villages and efforts for prevention and control in terms of water quality monitoring, patient surveillance , management and treatment. A state level squad is in the district to investigate the outbreak.