Maharashtra reports its first Zika virus case in 50-year-old Pune woman

Maharashtra officially confirmed its first case of Zika virus a mosquito-borne viral infection on Saturday. A blood sample of the 50-year-old resident of Belsar village (Purandar taluka) in Pune district tested positive for Zika-chikungunya co-infection at Indian Council of Medical Research-National Institute of Virology (ICMR-NIV) in Pune late on Friday.

The sample was drawn as part of routine surveillance to rule out mosquito-borne illnesses after some villagers showed dengue/chikungunya-like symptoms in Belsar and Parinche villages in Purandar taluka from early July.

After detection of Zika, the state surveillance machinery intensified fever surveillance in seven surrounding villages, including Belsar (Purandar), where the woman resides with her family.

“The housewife has no travel history. She had the onset of symptoms on July 14. She completely recovered and has no symptoms now. No family member has any symptoms too,” state surveillance officer Pradip Awate said.

ICMR-NIV’s preliminary investigations suggested a mixed outbreak of dengue, chikungunya and Zika, with the dominance of chikungunya in Belsar. “Human Zika virus case is reported for the first time from Maharashtra. The results warrant in-depth investigations for Zika virus in this region,” Priya Abraham, director, ICMR-NIV, stated in her preliminary report.

The virus detection once again reinforced the importance of fever surveillance to pick up viral diseases. “A team of ICMR-NIV visited Belsare and Parinche villages on July 27-29 after blood samples of three villagers, drawn as part of the fever surveillance, tested positive for chikungunya on July 16,” Awate said. The team collected samples of 51 villagers against suspicion of chikungunya. “Among 41 of the samples for which all results are available, the blood samples from 25 cases were positive for chikungunya. Three were positive for dengue and one sample was positive for Zika and chikungunya,” the ICMR-NIV report stated.

Source: Times of India

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