Karnataka government issued the guidelines after the neighbouring state of Kerala reported 14 Zika virus cases.

Close up of a mosquito stinging a humanSimon Kutcher, AFAP
news Health Saturday, July 10, 2021 - 09:39

As a precautionary measure, the Karnataka government on July 9 issued guidelines on the prevention and control of Zika virus. This comes after the neighbouring state of Kerala reported 14 positive cases of the Zika virus as on Friday (July 9) even as states grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The government in their guidelines noted that the monsoon supports the “widespread proliferation” of the Aedes mosquito, a vector for the Zika virus. The state has directed ASHA workers and health assistants to routinely carry out screening in rural and urban wards with strict monitoring and supervision for Aedes aegypti, which is a vector of dengue, chikungunya and Zika. The state government has said that Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and Chamarajanagar districts have to be more vigilant as the districts border Kerala.

The government, in its guidelines, emphasised that solid waste has to be effectively disposed of in domestic situations in order to prevent the breeding of the Aedes vector. Apart from that, the government instructed the District Vector Borne Disease Control Officers (DVBDCO) of all the 31 districts of the state to intensify the strategies of the mid-term plan for vector control with supervision.

The mid-term plan for vector control includes surveillance for both adult mosquito and larvae, vector management through environmental manipulation or modification, adopting personal protection measures, biological, chemical control at household, community and institutional levels.

Additionally, the government directed officials to conduct Aedes larval surveillance and ensure that source reduction activities in airports, seaports, harbours and in the villages or wards in two km vicinity should be carried out with necessary vigil. They have also directed the officials to send weekly reports pertaining to the same to the health department. The DVBDCOs of concerned districts must coordinate with their respective AirPort Health Officer, the government stated.

A person who has contracted the Zika virus exhibits symptoms like fever, rashes, conjunctivitis, joint pain etc. In accordance with the same, the government instructed officials to check the travel history of a person suspected to be a patient of the Zika virus. 

Samples of these people have to be sent to the National Institute of Virology (NIV), Bengaluru, said the government. Subsequently, the government has directed officials to check pregnant women, new mothers and newborns for the presence of microcephaly. It has directed that during pregnant women’s ultrasounds, focus should be given to checking the presence of microcephaly. If detected, the serum sample has to be collected and sent to the NIV. The government has also said that records of deliveries should be mandatorily recorded in both private, government hospitals including health centres and home deliveries.

In addition to the aforementioned, the government has directed officials to ensure availability of adulticide and larvicide, and directed the officials to conduct inter-sectoral meetings with concerned departments as well as intensify information, education and communication activities.

Read: Zika virus confirmed in pregnant woman in Kerala, more cases suspected

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