Threat of Zika virus in Kerala, total 18 infected with 3 new cases

Kerala on Sunday reported three more cases of zika virus infection, including a child. With this, the number of people infected with Zika virus in the State has gone up to 18. State Health Minister Veena George said that the government has made arrangements to check zika virus infection at Thiruvananthapuram, Thrissur and Kozhikode medical colleges. At the same time, the Alappuzha unit of the National Institute of Virology (NIV) also has this facility.

A 22-month-old baby has been found infected, he said. In addition, a 46-year-old man and a 29-year-old health worker have also been confirmed to be infected with the Zika virus. So far, 18 people have been confirmed to be infected in the State. George said 27 samples in two batches were sent for testing, out of which 26 did not confirm the infection. Eight samples were sent in the third batch, three of which confirmed infection.

According to the Health Department, 2100 kits have been received from NIV, Pune, out of which 1,000 kits have been sent to Thiruvananthapuram Medical College, 300-300 kits to Thrissur and Kozhikode and 500 kits to NIV, Alappuzha. “500 triplex kits have been sent to Thiruvananthapuram Medical College, which can detect infection as well as differentiate RNA of dengue, chikungunya and Zika virus while 500 single plex kits have been provided, which detect only Zika virus. Pune-based NIV has directed the health department to collect blood samples of patients suspected of Zika virus infection.

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