Govt issues Zika virus advisory: Urgent Action Needed

States are advised to be prepared for any potential surge in Zika virus cases.

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Zika Virus
Zika Virus

Last Updated on July 12, 2024 by The Health Master

Zika virus

The recent detection of Zika virus cases in Maharashtra has sparked a national response, with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) Govt of India (Govt) issuing a critical advisory to all states.

Dr. Atul Goel, Director General of Health Services (DGHS), emphasized the need for heightened vigilance and immediate action to control the spread of the virus.

Protecting Pregnant Women

Zika virus poses a significant threat to pregnant women, as it can cause microcephaly and other neurological complications in developing fetuses.

To address this concern, the MoHFW has issued the following directives to states:

Alert Clinicians:

Medical professionals across affected areas must be informed about the Zika virus situation and encouraged to closely monitor pregnant women.

Screening and Monitoring:

Healthcare facilities in Zika-affected regions are urged to screen pregnant women for the virus.

Additionally, expecting mothers who test positive for Zika virus should undergo regular fetal growth monitoring as per Central Government guidelines.

Dedicated Vector Control:

Hospitals and healthcare facilities must appoint a designated officer to oversee mosquito control measures and ensure the premises are free of Aedes mosquitoes, the primary vector of Zika virus transmission.

Strengthening Vector Control

The MoHFW has also stressed the importance of robust vector control strategies to combat Zika virus :

Intensified Surveillance:

States are advised to strengthen entomological surveillance – the monitoring of mosquito populations – to identify and address potential outbreaks.

Targeted Vector Control:

Residential areas, workplaces, schools, construction sites, institutions, and healthcare facilities should prioritize vector control activities like spraying insecticides and eliminating mosquito breeding grounds.

Public Awareness is Key to Reducing Panic

The MoHFW acknowledges that Zika virus is often asymptomatic or presents mild symptoms.

To reduce public anxiety, states are urged to:

Promote Informative Messaging:

Social media and other platforms can be utilized to disseminate clear, precautionary messages about Zika virus.

Focus on Facts:

Public awareness campaigns should emphasize that Zika virus is a manageable viral infection, with most cases having no or minimal symptoms.

Reassurance should be provided that no Zika-associated microcephaly cases have been reported in India since 2016.

Collaboration for Effective Zika virus Management

The MoHFW emphasizes the crucial role of state authorities in Zika virus control:

Preparedness and Vigilance:

States are advised to be prepared for any potential surge in Zika virus cases. This includes ensuring adequate medical supplies and resources at all levels of the healthcare system.

Prompt Reporting:

Early detection is vital. States are urged to immediately report all Zika virus cases to the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) and the National Center for Vector Borne Diseases Control (NCVBDC).

Zika virus Testing and Ongoing Monitoring

Zika virus testing facilities are readily available at:

  • National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune
  • National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Delhi
  • Select virus research and diagnostic laboratories of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)

The MoHFW assures ongoing vigilance and continues to closely monitor the Zika virus situation in India.

This proactive approach, coupled with state-level action plans, will be instrumental in curbing the spread of the virus and protecting public health.

Disclaimer: This article contains information derived from the source mentioned below. Our team utilized an AI language model to rewrite and present the news or article in a unique format.

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