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Zika Virus Resurfaces in India: 85-Year-Old Tests Positive; Recovers

© AFP 2021 / MARVIN RECINOSThe Aedes Aegypti mosquito is photographed in a lab at the Ministry of Health of El Salvador, in San Salvador
The Aedes Aegypti mosquito is photographed in a lab at the Ministry of Health of El Salvador, in San Salvador - Sputnik International
Officials of a medical college in India’s western state of Rajasthan have revealed that an octogenarian lady was tested positive for Zika virus infection, but was sent home after symptoms improved. There has been no confirmation, though, on whether other suspected cases are being monitored.

In a fresh case of Zika infection, an 85-year-old woman in the Indian state of Rajasthan, which is a popular tourist destination, has tested positive for the mosquito-borne virus. The hospital administration has alerted the government on the spotting of the virus and steps are being taken to contain its spread.

The resurfacing of the virus in India was reported by Indian news agency PTI on Sunday, quoting the Sawai Man Singh (SMS) hospital administration in Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan. Officials of the medical college have not given any further details on the possibility of any more cases of the virus infection. 

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"The woman was admitted to the Sawai Man Singh (SMS) hospital on September 11 with joint pain, redness in eyes and weakness but she tested negative for dengue and swine flu. Samples were then sent to the National Institute of Virology in Pune for a test of Zika virus and the report came out positive," principal of the SMS medical college Dr. U.S. Agrawal told the media.

Indian employees of the country's third-biggest drugs company Sun Pharma walk outside its research and development centre in Mumbai. (File) - Sputnik International
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The woman, a resident of the Shastri Nagar area in Jaipur, was discharged from the hospital a few days ago after her condition improved. The hospital administration has alerted the state health department, Dr. Agarwal added.

A health expert is of the opinion that though the detection of a single case should not cause panic, the administration should definitely keep vigil.

"The infection shows symptoms such as mild fever, skin rash, conjunctivitis, muscle, and body ache. The fact is that only about 20% of patients show symptoms that usually last up to a week and hence it is unlikely to detect with symptoms. The situation in the latest news from Jaipur is not a case to panic but certainly a fit opportunity to monitor and increase surveillance. The administration is taking all steps in this regard here," Dr. Nilesh Kumar, a senior health consultant in Jaipur, told Sputnik. 

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The Zika virus is a mosquito-borne virus that was first identified in Uganda in 1947 in monkeys. It was later identified in humans in 1952 in Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania, according to the World Health Organization. In India, three earlier cases of Zika infections were spotted two years ago. Although the infection is non-fatal, there is no treatment or vaccine for the Zika infection.

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