A day after 22 cases of Zika virus were reported in Rajasthan’s Jaipur city by the Health Ministry, Bihar government has issued a high alert in the state due to the increased risk of Zika virus epidemic. The Health Department of Bihar on Tuesday has sent an advisory to all hospital across the state alerting them about the Zika virus.
In the press advisory, Sanjay Kumar, Principal Health Secretary in the Bihar government stated that "Bihar has been put on alert because of a 22-years-old youth belonging to Bihar’s Siwan district who has been diagnosed positive with Zika virus in Rajasthan where he has living for quite some time. Apparently, he visited Bihar in the month of September for his exams after which he was diagnosed with Zika post his return to Rajasthan”.
Considering the urgency of the situation, the Bihar government has issued ten guidelines to be followed to prevent any impending outbreak due to Zika virus in the state. Some of them are:
Increasing risk through the Zika virus has caused a high alert in the country in order to take all the necessary measures to protect the people. While this is not the first instance when Zika has hit India, an 85-year-old woman was tested positive for Zika virus in Jaipur in early September 2018 as well. Similarly, Zika cases have also been detected in other states of India including Ahmedabad in January 2017 and in Tamil Nadu in July 2017.
Zika virus is an emerging mosquito-borne viral infection that is transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes. While it was first identified in monkeys in Uganda in 1947, the first human case was detected in Nigeria in 1954 with reports of outbreaks in Africa, South East Asia, and Pacific Islands. Majority of those infected with Zika virus remain asymptomatic or show mild symptoms of fever, rash, conjunctivitis, body ache and pain in joints. The symptoms usually last for 2 to 7 days.