“We have already formed 37 rapid response teams. Given the ongoing Covid transmission, fogging for adult mosquito control would be done if a large-scale (Zika) outbreak gets reported, taking utmost precautions to avoid any respiratory distress among Covid patients. All hospitals are required to inform us of any Zika cases immediately,” said Dr Virender Yadav, chief medical officer, Gurugram.
This comes on the heels of Uttar Pardesh reporting a Zika outbreak in Kanpur, with more than 100 cases already. Meanwhile, Maharashtra and Kerala have also reported Zika cases. However, so far, no Zika virus patient has been detected in Gurugram.
The Zika virus gets transmitted through the bite of an infected species of Aedes mosquito, which is also responsible for causing dengue and chikungunya. Yadav said that people should take all precautions against getting infected by mosquitoes.
Health officials advised residents to prevent mosquito breeding by destroying all unused containers, junk material, tyres and coconut shells, as well as wearing full-sleeved clothing and applying mosquito repellents.
Some of the common symptoms caused by the virus are fever, maculopapular rash, conjunctivitis (red eyes), and joint pain. Other symptoms are muscle pain and headache. Clinical illness is usually mild, with symptoms lasting several days to a week.
Severe cases requiring hospitalisation are uncommon, and fatalities are rare. The virus, however, can pass from a pregnant woman to her foetus around the time of birth. Such an infection is the cause of microcephaly and other severe brain defects in children, doctors said.