Maha: First Zika virus case found in Pune; woman patient recovers

Pune:- In a jolt to the Maharashtra health authorities grappling with the Covid-19 pandemic, the first-ever case of Zika virus has been detected in a woman from Belsar in Pune district, officials said here late on Saturday.

The health department assured that the 50-year-old patient has fully recovered from the Zika virus infection and nobody in her family of three have displayed any symptoms.

The woman, who had shown symptoms since July 15, was diagnosed positive with Zika virus and also Chikungunya on Friday, spread through mosquitos.

As the alarm bells set ringing, a health team comprising state surveillance officer Pradeep Awate, assistant director Kamalapurkar, state entomologist Mahendra Jagtap and others rushed to the village and studied the situation on Saturday.

They held emergency meetings with the Belsar sarpanch and gram panchayat members, the local health authorities, health workers and other stakeholders and apprised them about the precautions to be taken if any other Zika patients are detected.

Around 40 samples were collected from the village with a population of around 3,500, of which 25 tested positive for Chikungunya and 3 for dengue, and the sole woman’s sample was positive for Zika virus.

The Zika virus is caused by the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, and 80 per cent of the patients do not get any symptoms, while the rest may suffer from fever, body-ache, itching eyes, acne and joint pains, and pregnant women could suffer miscarriage if they contract it.

The health department has now directed all the concerned officials to take adequate precautionary measures while surveying for Covid-19, Zika and other insect-borne diseases and not to neglect any cases.