Zika Virus in Pune: Blood samples from 20 individuals sent for testing

Samples include those from five pregnant women and 15 individuals exhibiting symptoms of fever, indicating that risk of Zika remains prevalent.
A blood sample being collected and analysed
A blood sample being collected and analysedpixabay.com

Pune: The Zika virus threat continues to loom over Pune as 20 blood samples from Erandwane and Mundhwa have been sent for testing at the National Institute of Virology (NIV). This action comes after three Zika cases were detected in these areas.

The samples include those from five pregnant women and 15 individuals exhibiting symptoms of fever, indicating that the risk of Zika remains prevalent.

Two Zika cases were found in Erandwane, involving a 46-year-old doctor and his 15-year-old daughter. The Pune Municipal Corporation’s (PMC) health department has sent samples from five pregnant women and three suspected cases in the area to NIV.

Additionally, a survey of 2,422 houses in the vicinity revealed mosquito larvae in 79 homes, as reported by Dr. Rajesh Dighe, Assistant Health Officer of PMC.

In Mundhwa, a 47-year-old woman tested positive for Zika through a private lab. Following this, the health department sent her blood sample to NIV for confirmation.

Now, blood samples from 12 more individuals, including three family members of the patient and nine neighbors showing fever symptoms, have also been sent for testing. A survey of 1,050 houses in Mundhwa found mosquito larvae in 49 homes, according to Dr. Dighe.

Delay in Reporting by Private Lab

There was a delay in reporting the positive Zika case from Mundhwa by the private laboratory. The patient’s test results were obtained on June 1, but the PMC's health department was only informed on June 22.

During this period, the patient received treatment at a private hospital and then returned home. The PMC's health department has issued a notice to the private lab for this delay, according to sources.

With the monsoon season starting, there is a heightened risk of vector-borne diseases. Consequently, all private laboratories and hospitals are mandated to report such cases to the PMC's health department promptly. Letters have been sent to private labs and hospitals to ensure compliance with this requirement, said Dr. Kalpana Balivant, Acting Health Chief, PMC

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