IMA Pune Chief Urges Delay in Pregnancies for Zika-Affected Areas as Tally Reaches 15

    The cumulative tally of Zika cases in Pune district increased to 15 on Tuesday, with three new cases reported. All three cases involve pregnant women and were reported from the Pashan area. One woman, 28 years old and 23 weeks pregnant, tested positive on July 5. Another, an 18-year-old at 28 weeks of pregnancy, confirmed her infection on July 8. The third case, a 19-year-old also 23 weeks pregnant, reported joint pain and mild fever with positive results on July 8.

    Since June 20, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has recorded 15 Zika virus cases, nine of which involve pregnant women. Dr. Varshali Mali, Senior Consultant in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Surya Mother and Child Super Speciality Hospital, Pune, emphasized the public health challenge posed by rising Zika cases among pregnant women. “The absence of a vaccine or specific treatment for Zika heightens this urgency,” she noted.

    Preventive measures crucial

    Preventive measures are crucial due to the lack of specific treatment. Dr. Mali advised pregnant women to seek medical advice promptly if they suspect Zika infection and ensure regular prenatal care and monitoring. Healthcare providers play a vital role in early detection and symptom management. Effective mosquito control, wearing protective clothing, using DEET- or picaridin-based insect repellents, and preventing water accumulation in coolers and tanks are essential to mitigate Zika’s impact and protect community health.

    Zika primarily spreads through Aedes mosquitoes, active during the daytime, with other transmission methods including sexual activity, mother-to-child transmission, blood transfusions, and lab exposure.

    ‘Delay family planning’

    Dr Sanjay Patil, Chairman of the Indian Medical Association (IMA), Pune chapter, advised individuals infected or residing in Zika-affected areas to delay family planning for at least 8 weeks and take extra precautions during sexual activity to prevent virus transmission.

    “Despite Zika cases being reported from specific parts of Pune, the virus may have spread widely within the community,” Patil cautioned.

    Published on: Tuesday, July 09, 2024, 05:37 PM IST

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