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Zika virus cases surge in Kanpur

There have been a surge in zika virus cases, which is a mosquito-borne flavivirus, in Kanpur (Pic. Courtesy npr.org)

There has been a surge in Zika virus cases in Kanpur with at least 89 people, including 17 children, having tested positive, the health department said on Monday.

"There has been a surge in cases of the Zika virus and the health department has formed several teams to contain the spread," Dr Nepal Singh, chief medical officer of Kanpur district.

"There is one woman who is pregnant and we are paying special attention towards her," he added.

The first Zika case in Kanpur was detected on Oct. 23 and the number of cases has increased over the past week.

Union Health Ministry had rushed a high level multi-disciplinary medical team to Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh where a case of Zika Virus Disease has been reported. A 57-year-old a warrant officer in the Indian Air Force was diagnosed with the disease.

What is Zika virus disease?

  • Zika virus disease is caused by a virus transmitted primarily by Aedes mosquitoes, which bite during the day.
  • Symptoms are generally mild and include fever, rash, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, malaise or headache. Symptoms typically last for 2–7 days.
  • Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause infants to be born with microcephaly and other congenital malformations.
  • An increased risk of neurologic complications is also associated with Zika virus.

Zika virus is a mosquito-borne flavivirus that was first identified in Uganda in 1947 in monkeys. It was later identified in humans in 1952 in Uganda and Tanzania.