Twenty-five people, including six Indian Air Force personnel, on Wednesday tested positive for Zika virus here, pushing the number of infected persons to 36 in the district. District Magistrate Vishak G said among the fresh cases, 14 are women. Six IAF personnel have also contracted the infection, he said.
The DM said the health department had collected blood samples of 586 people on Sunday and these were sent to the Lucknow’s KGMU for testing. Twenty-five samples tested positive for Zika virus, he said.
To check the spread of the disease and track its source, health teams have been pressed to undertake sanitisation programmes, including anti-larvae spraying, identification of fever patients, screening of seriously ill people and pregnant women. Health officials have been asked to strengthen their surveillance and ensure door-to-door sampling and testing. ”We advise the local people not to panic regarding the sudden spurt in Zika virus cases,” he said.
A high alert has been sounded in the periphery of hangars of the IAF station, said another official. Zika is a mosquito-borne virus that spreads through the bite of infected mosquitoes.
An IAF personnel from Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh tested positive for Zika virus on October 23, following which the Union Health Ministry had sent a high-level multidisciplinary team to Uttar Pradesh.