Medical Tourism

Screening at airports, seaports for zika intensified

CHENNAI: In the wake of detection of Zika virus infection in Ahmedabad, the Tamil Nadu health department has intensified regular screening and surveillance in airports, seaports and other areas.

On May 15, the Union Health Ministry reported three laboratory confirmed cases of Zika virus disease in Bapunagar, Ahmedabad district, Gujarat, reports The New Indian Express.

Blood samples from a man aged 64, a 34-year-old woman who delivered a baby and a 22-year-old woman in her 37th week of pregnancy have tested positive for Zika virus disease. The samples were tested in February, November and January. “The screening of fever cases is going on in airports for detection of Zika infection. Airport health officials and also the Union health ministry officials will continue operations against Aedes mosquitoes in and outside the airports. We are following the same National Guidelines for Zika virus disease issued by the Union Health Ministry, when there was Zika scare in the country last year,” said K Kolandaswamy, director of public health.

He said the health department is working closely with the Central officials. “We have also posted entomologists on duty and they will do larva surveillance. We are making sure that these operations are in place in light of detection of virus infection in India.”
However, the testing for the virus in the State is going on at the King Institute of Preventive Medicine and Research, Guindy here. “We should be cautious about Zika because there is a strong suspicion that the infection will cause microcephaly in the foetus of pregnant women.”

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