80 cases of Zika virus reported from Rajasthan, surveillance is on: J P Nadda

In the wake of unprecedented situation in few parts of Rajasthan where huge number of zika virus cases have come to notice, the union health minister, J P Nadda chaired a high level review meeting on Zika virus and seasonal influenza

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New Delhi: In a recent high level meeting to review the activities for prevention and control of Zika virus and Seasonal Influenza, the Minister for Health and Family Welfare, J P Nadda reassured the states for all support from the union government.

For control of Zika virus in Rajasthan, the Health Minister emphasized on the need for continuous monitoring. He stated that the Union Health Ministry is in regular contact with the State officials. Mr Nadda spoke to the Chief Minister of Rajasthan. Secretary (Health) is monitoring the situation on a daily basis in regular coordination with the State Health Secretary.

The Union Health Minister was also briefed about the activities undertaken by the Ministry to control Zika Virus in Rajasthan. He was informed that 80 cases have been reported from the State. 330 teams have already been deployed in affected wards of Shastri Nagar (Jaipur) and about 434515 population has been brought under surveillance as of today. 86903 houses have been surveyed. 204875 breeding sites were checked for larvae breeding and 74483 were found to have larvae breeding. The health workers undertook on-spot source reduction and containers were treated with temiphose during the survey. The health workers have also carried out focal spray and fogging in affected areas which were recommended by team supervisors.

Mr Nadda stressed on the need for undertaking exhaustive control measures including intensive fogging for next month in order to ensure vector control in the area. He also stressed on strengthening surveillance to facilitate the early identification of cases. The Union Health Minister urged the people to not panic and cooperate with the health officials in controlling the breeding of the vectors. He further said that there was no shortage of medicines and testing kits and required support will be provided to the State.

The Health Minister further directed for mounting aggressive communication campaigns in the state. He stated that awareness is the key in controlling the vector borne diseases and no stone should be left unturned to reach out to the people. Noting that community participation is a crucial area in prevention, the Union Health Minister urged all the stakeholders to start rigorous awareness campaigns regarding the preventive steps to be taken at the community level. He stated that the Union Health Ministry is working along with the State government, the local authorities and the Municipal Corporation for augmenting and strengthening their efforts in vector control, surveillance and awareness activities.

Among those who were present in the meeting were Ms Preeti Sudan, Secretary (Health), Prof Balram Bhargava, Secretary, DHR & Director General ICMR, Dr S Venkatesh, DGHS, and Mr Sanjeeva Kumar (AS), Mr Manoj Jhalani (AS & MD), and senior officers of the Union Health Ministry, National Vector-Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP), National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), and Emergency Medical Response division.

Considering the seasonality of the Seasonal Influenza, Mr Nadda has directed the officials to ensure continuous monitoring and vigil on all cases. He specifically instructed that early detection, reporting and proper categorization of patients is critical for Seasonal Influenza management. Minister has instructed National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to monitor the cases on a daily basis.