Latest Trending News

Health Ministry Issues Advisory to States Amid Zika Virus Cases in Maharashtra

New Delhi: In response to reported cases of Zika virus in Maharashtra, Dr. Atul Goel, Director General of Health Services (DGHS) for the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, has issued an advisory urging states to maintain constant vigilance over the Zika virus situation in the country.

Zika virus, which is known to cause microcephaly and neurological consequences in the fetuses of infected pregnant women, necessitates heightened monitoring and precautionary measures. The advisory emphasizes the need for clinicians to be on high alert and to closely monitor pregnant women, especially in affected areas. Health facilities are instructed to screen expecting mothers for Zika virus infection, track fetal growth in those who test positive, and adhere to Central Government Guidelines.

To combat the spread of the virus, states are advised to strengthen entomological surveillance and intensify vector control activities in residential areas, workplaces, schools, construction sites, institutions, and health facilities. Health facilities and hospitals are also instructed to appoint a nodal officer to ensure premises remain free of Aedes mosquitoes, the primary vector for Zika.

Public awareness is another critical focus of the advisory. States are urged to disseminate precautionary messages through social media and other platforms to reduce panic, emphasizing that Zika, like many other viral infections, is often asymptomatic and mild. Although Zika is linked with microcephaly, no such cases have been reported in India since 2016.

State authorities are called upon to remain vigilant and prepared, ensuring the availability of appropriate logistics to detect and control any potential outbreaks. They are also required to report any detected cases immediately to the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) and the National Center for Vector Borne Diseases Control (NCVBDC).

For testing, the Zika virus facility is available at the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune, the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in Delhi, and selected virus research and diagnostic laboratories of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). Regular reviews are being conducted at higher levels to monitor the situation.

This recent advisory follows earlier warnings issued this year by the DGHS on April 26 and by the Director of NCVBDC in February and April, addressing the threats posed by Zika, Dengue, and Chikungunya, all transmitted by the Aedes mosquito.

As the situation develops, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare continues to urge states to take proactive measures to safeguard public health and prevent the spread of the Zika virus.

Comments are closed.