Zika virus in Kerala: Expert team dispatched to monitor situation, says Centre

New Delhi: A six-member central team of experts has been dispatched to Kerala to monitor the Zika virus situation and support the state government in management of cases, the Union health ministry said on Friday. The southern state has so far reported 14 cases of Zika virus. It has been put on alert.

At a press conference here, joint secretary in the health ministry Lav Agarwal said, “There are some Zika cases which have been reported from Kerala. To monitor the situation and to support the state government, a six-member team comprising public health experts, vector-borne disease experts and clinicians from AIIMS has already been issued instructions to reach there and support the state government in terms of management of Zika there.”

A 24-year-old pregnant woman was the first to have been diagnosed with the mosquito-transmitted disease on Thursday. The National Institute of Virology (NIV) confirmed 13 more cases on Friday, according to the state government.

The symptoms of Zika are similar to dengue and they include fever, rashes and joint pain. Kerala Health Minister Veena George has said that an action plan has been drawn up to control the spread of Zika.

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