06:21 GMT15 July 2020
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    Medical teams have been pressed into service to conduct door to door surveys in the affected areas of Rajasthan to detect any person with symptoms. Fines have been imposed on households with larvae breeding wastewater contamination.

    With detected cases mounting to 80, the provincial and federal governments in India have stepped up their response to the spread of the Zika virus, especially in the northern state of Rajasthan. 

    The federal government's Health Ministry on Tuesday directed the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to monitor Zika cases on a daily basis, while urging the people not to panic. Health Minister J.P. Nadda chaired a meeting of the concerned officials to review the situation.

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    "Over 250 teams of the medical and health department are engaged in door to door screening of the affected areas in Rajasthan, especially in the capital Jaipur where most cases were detected. Reports suggest that around one hundred thousand houses have been screened and fines have been imposed on people not abiding with the emergency health regulations of keeping the surrounding clean and free from mosquito growth," Dr. Nilesh Parmar, a senior member of the Rajasthan Medical Association, told Sputnik.

    An 85-year-old woman from Shashtri Nagar area of Jaipur was reportedly the first to be detected with Zika virus last month. The virus is transmitted primarily by Aedes mosquitoes, which bite during the day. 

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    Symptoms of the virus infection are generally mild and include fever, rash, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, malaise or a headache. Although non-fatal, symptoms last for two to seven days and a Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause infants to be born with microcephaly and other congenital malformations.

    ​Although India has seen Zika virus cases since last year in episodes, this latest outbreak in Rajasthan is being seen as the largest outbreak. As per the World Health Organization, there is no treatment available for Zika virus infection or its associated diseases.


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