One more woman tests positive for Zika in Pune

    A 28-year-old woman, resident of Pashan, has tested positive for Zika virus infection, said officials. She complained of mild symptoms like fever, rash and joint pain. The National Institute of Virology (NIV) report on Thursday confirmed the presence of Zika virus infection in her blood samples.

    Two more women have tested positive for Zika virus infection as per the reports received from a private lab. Samples of both women will be sent to the NIV for confirmation, said officials. (REPRESENTATIVE PHOTO)

    Till July 5, the city has reported seven confirmed cases of Zika virus infection, as per the reports of the NIV. The civic body considers only those cases confirmed by NIV as positive cases, said officials.

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    Meanwhile, two more women have tested positive for Zika virus infection as per the reports received from a private lab. Samples of both women will be sent to the NIV for confirmation.

    As per officials, the two cases include a 31-year-old pregnant woman from Tingre Nagar who is six weeks pregnant and a 63-year-old woman from Deccan Mundhwa.

    The samples of the pregnant woman were sent to the private laboratory on Tuesday by Jehangir Hospital. She visited the hospital for prenatal care and complained of mild symptoms like fever, rash and joint pain for the past two days. The Multiplex RT-PCR tests confirmed Zika infection in the woman on Thursday.

    Dr Piyush Chowdhari, an infectious diseases expert at Jehangir Hospital, said, the woman has an IVF pregnancy and is in her first trimester which is considered a high-risk pregnancy.

    “Looking at her symptoms her samples were sent for testing at a private laboratory. We have provided her symptomatic treatment, and she came for follow-up on Friday,” he said.

    Dr Chowdhari said her health condition has improved, and her symptoms have subsided. “The ultrasound test cannot be done now as it would be early, and the test will be done after three to four weeks. The family have been counselled to take preventive measures. The husband of the woman had symptoms earlier and later the woman developed the symptoms,” he said.

    Meanwhile, the 63-year-old woman complained of recurrent fever, severe joint pain and skin rashes. The test reports by the private hospital on Monday confirmed Zika virus infection. The same was informed to the PMC on Friday, said the officials.

    Dr Rajesh Dighe, assistant health officer of PMC, said, the Zika-positive cases from private laboratories are considered as suspected cases and their samples will be sent to NIV Pune to confirm the infection.

    “Activities like surveillance, door-to-door visits and containment activity will be started in the area. Pregnant women and people with symptoms like fever, rash and joint pain should come forward to get tested for Zika virus infection. Citizens should take measures to prevent mosquito breeding in and around their house,” he said.

    As per officials, on Friday 11 samples of suspected patients were sent to NIV for testing for the virus infection. “Out of these 11 samples, 5 samples of pregnant women are from Erandwane, 4 pregnant women from the Mundhwa area and one pregnant woman from the Kothrud area,” said, Dr Kalpana Baliwant, Health officer of PMC.

    The samples of five suspected Zika patients sent to NIV, all pregnant women from Dhanukar colony and Laxmi Nagar on Friday tested negative for Zika virus infection in their samples. PMC to date has sent as many as 64 samples to NIV, which includes 41 samples of expecting mothers. The NIV has agreed to accept samples even on Saturday, they said.

    Zika virus can be transmitted by Mosquito bites, sexual contact, mother-to-fetus during pregnancy, blood transfusion and organ donation. Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause microcephaly and other congenital malformations in the infant, including limb contractures, high muscle tone, eye abnormalities and hearing loss.

    These clinical features are collectively referred to as congenital Zika syndrome. It can also cause Guillain-Barre Syndrome in the fetus.

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