Tamil Nadu has reported its first case of Zika on Monday. Public health authorities confirmed to The News Minute that a 27-year-old man from Krishnagiri district was tested positive for the virus and that he is on the road to recovery.
According to the state health secretary, the patient had reported to the Anchetty primary health centre with complaints of fever and joint pain on June 29.\
"He tested negative for dengue and chikungunya. So as per practice we sent his blood samples to Manipal Centre of Virus research and to National Institute of virology in Pune," explains state health secretary Radhakrishnan.
Protocol dictates that patients with complaints of fever and fatigue are tested for diseases such as dengue, chikungunya, malaria, jaundice, typhoid and leptospirosis. If doctors observe symptoms similar to dengue or chikungunya but tests are negative, blood samples are sent for the Zika test.
Following this, test results confirmed that the man had contracted Zika.
Health department officials then visited Natranpalayam Panchayat where the man hails from. Surveillance has been set up within a 5km radius of the patient's home. All standard protocols are in place and the cause of the fever is being investigated.
"He does not have a history of travel. The last time he left his village, he went to Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh three months back," says Radhakrishnan. "But it is better to be careful and efforts are on to find out if it was locally contracted," he adds.
Zika is viral disease which is transmitted by the Aedes mosquito. According to ToI, these insects breed in fresh water by laying eggs near standing water in buckets, pots, and vases mostly in areas of habitation.
WHO declared Zika as a global health emergency in February last year but discontinued its status in November. Since November 2016, three people in the country have reportedly been tested positive for the virus.