Health Officials in India Announce Third Zika Outbreak


The Government of India Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has announced 22 confirmed cases of Zika virus in Jaipur as of October 8, 2018.

Updated 10/18/18 at 10:35 AM

Health officials in India are monitoring pregnant women living in Jaipur, the capital city of the Rajasthan state of India in the wake of a Zika virus outbreak.

In the latest statement issued by the Government of India Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on October 16, 2018, 80 laboratory confirmed-cases of Zika virus disease were recorded thus far with several more suspected cases pending confirmation.

In response to the first case—which was confirmed on September 23, 2018—Union Health Minister Jagat Prakash coordinated a central team to assist in infection prevention and containment measures in the city. Health workers responding to the situation are in the process of testing suspected cases as well as mosquito samples and conducting epidemiological investigations in the 3-kilometer radius of where the first case was reported. A total of 43,000 households in the radius have been surveilled so far.

In addition to surveillance, health workers on the ground are also working to educate citizens of Jaipur about methods to prevent contracting the virus such as eliminating standing water where mosquitoes may breed.

This outbreak marks the third outbreak of the Zika virus in India. The first outbreak was reported in Ahmedabad in January 2017, the second was reported in July 2017 in Krishnagiri District in Tamilnadu. Both outbreaks were successfully contained through intensive surveillance and vector management.

Th current outbreak is of particular concern because Jaipur is a popular tourist destination in India. In addition to concern for women who live in the city of Jaipur, it is also critical for visitors and tourists of the city to exercise caution. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicate that women who are pregnant should not travel to India and sexual partners of pregnant women or women who may become pregnant should take preventative measures to limit exposure.

Furthermore, men who may have been exposed to the Zika virus should wait at least 3 months after symptom onset or last possible exposure before engaging in unprotected sex.

If a female partner has traveled to an area where the Zika virus is endemic and the couple plans to conceive, they should wait to conceive for 60 days following the onset of symptoms or last possible exposure to Zika.

Reducing exposure to the Zika virus is crucial to prevent transmission of the virus from mother to fetus which can result in Zika-associated birth defects including microcephaly, eye abnormalities, hearing loss, and developmental delays. These defects can occur at birth or may become apparent as an infant progresses through childhood.

This outbreak in India is ongoing and the Government of India Ministry of Health and Family Welfare will continue to provide updates as they become available.

For the most recent case counts in the Zika Virus Outbreak in Jaipur, Rajasthan, India, check out the Contagion® Outbreak Monitor.

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