A second outbreak of the Zika infection has been reported in India last week. The state of Madhya Pradesh has now reported that 6 of its districts have been affected by the virus. This outbreak follows the September 2018 outbreak in Rajasthan. Until the first outbreak a surveillance programme run by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) at 35 sites across the country had detected only 3 isolated cases of zika in Gujarat in 2016-17, and one case only in Tamil Nadu.
The ICMR system that randomly tests a set number of fever patients for zika virus each month found an 85-year old woman carrying the virus this September with an increasing number of cases showing up. The alarming increase in cases has led the Rajasthan province to start testing all pregnant women living in a three-km radius around the area where the first case was discovered.
During the second and currently ongoing outbreak 127 cases of zika infection have been diagnosed so far. However, according to the Madhya Pradesh State’s Health Services the outbreak is now slowing down due to intensive activities aimed at controlling mosquitos.
The Hindu [edited]