Zika may give Gujarat government a bad fever

And the tough days continue for the Gujarat government. Only recently, the state had said the Asiatic lions in and around the Gir forest died due to infiighting that later turned out to be Canine Distemper Virus (CDV). This time, the government has given the Zika virus wings and neglected its deadly sting in Ahmedabad.

The principal secretary of health department and commissioner of health, Jayanti Ravi, and Ahmedabad Municipal Commissioner Vijay Nehra in a joint press conference in Gandhinagar on Friday revealed, “One positive Zika virus case has been reported in Ahmedabad. We got the confirmation two hours ago.”

The case that a lady was affected by Zika virus came to the administration’s notice early October following her blood reports. However, the details were not made public until the National Institute of Virology(NIV) in Pune reconfirmed it.

“We have to go with the established methods prescribed by the World Health organisation (WHO) and, therefore, the declaration was not made until the report of positive case arrived from NIV. We have the laboratories in Ahmedabad and other civil hospitals but the conclusion can be made only after the NIV confirms,” the health commissioner said.

“People should not panic over the issue of Zika virus as it does not cause death. It causes anomaly in foetus in development of head if a pregnant woman is infected in first trimester of pregnancy. And, that is also not in every case but there are chances. The lady found with Zika positive is cured and been discharged from hospital also,” Ravi added.

More surprising revelation came from Nehra when Nehra said his health team found only 3 positive cases of malaria after screening of 1.5 lakh households in Amraiwadi. It is known that Amraiwadi has plenty of slums and shanties where the hygiene is poor. Moreover, commissioner himself contradicted his own statement when he said that around 7 to 8 per cent households were found with Aedes Aegypti larvaes during surveillance and 235 cases of fever were found during personal screening of residents of area.

“Usually in such cases, there is a guideline to do screening and surveillance in 1-km-radius area but we did it in 3-km-radius area covering 14 wards of city and 7.5 lakh people residing in 1.5 lakh households in Amraiwadi. We also screened 5,183 pregnant women, but no one was detected with Zika. Only 3 cases of malaria positive were found during exercise,” he said.