Zika Virus in Kerala: 3 more infections, including 22-month-old toddler, take total cases to 18
Three more cases of Zika virus were reported in Kerala on Sunday, taking the total infections to 18. The new patients included a 22-month-old toddler. Kerala Health Minister Veena George said that the government has arranged several testing facilities at Thiruvananthapuram, Thrissur and Kozhikode Medical colleges and at the National Institute of Virology (NIV) unit at Alappuzha to deal with the outbreak.
“A 22-month-old toddler was found infected. A 46-year- old man and a 29- year-old health worker have also been found infected. We have 18 confirmed cases of infection in the state,” the Kerala Health Minister said in a release.
The Zika virus outbreak comes at a time when the state is already reeling under the second wave of coronavirus pandemic with the highest caseload in the country. George also said that out of the 27 samples sent for testing in two batches, 26 have turned out to be negative.
According to the health department, 2,100 test kits were received from NIV Pune and 1,000 have been given to Thiruvananthapuram, 300 each to Thrissur and Kozhikode and 500 to NIV in Alappuzha.
“The Thiruvananthapuram medical college received 500 Triplex Kit which enables the simultaneous detection and differentiation of RNA from dengue virus, chikungunya virus and Zika virus and 500 singleplex kits which can detect Zika virus alone,” the Minister said in the release.
Pune NIV has instructed the health department to collect the blood samples of those suspected to have been infected by the Zika virus.
“More labs in the state will be provided with testing facilities for Zika virus. We have 27 government labs in the state which can conduct RT-PCR tests and as more test kits reach the state, we will use these labs to carry out tests for Zika virus after getting permission from the NIV,” Minister said.
She also said that instruction has been given to the hospitals to test those patients, especially pregnant women, with fever, rashes and body pain.