Patna: The Bihar government has put Siwan district administration on high alert after a youth from Lalgarh village under Barharia block was found infected with Zika virus in Jaipur.
The youth in question is 22-year-old Pankaj Chaurasia. He had come to Siwan on August 28, where he had a fever that subsided. He returned to Rajasthan on September 12 and afterwards visited friends in Patna as well.
“The zika virus has an incubation period of 3-12 days. It appears he contracted the virus in the time that was in Jaipur,” said an official.
An additional cause of worry is that before returning to Jaipur he met a family member who is pregnant.
The state government is holding a high level meeting to decide further course of action.
"Medical team sent to Siwan will keep the family of Pankaj under surveillance. We have decided fogging mosquito repellent chemicals within 13 kilometer radius of the village," State's Health department principal secretary Sanjay Kumar said.
The Rajasthan health ministry said an alert has been declared in the state confirming multiple cases. The union health ministry admitted that the “situation was critical”.
The Centre has sent a five-member team to Jaipur to review the situation, formulate strategies to contain the outbreak.
According to the Rajasthan health ministry, at least six to seven cases were found positive. Rajasthan health minister Kali Charan said, “It is worrisome. People have been told to immediately inform if such cases are found.” Sources said that eight persons, including three pregnant women, had tested positive for the infection.
Zika is a contagious disease that mostly spreads through bite of the same mosquito that causes dengue. According to the World Health Organization's (WHO) classification scheme on the prevalence of Zika virus, India is in category 2, indicating ongoing transmission of the virus.
The WHO recommends that the infected person be kept in isolation since human-to-human transmission is possible in specific circumstances.