The number of people infected with the Zika virus in India has increased to 94 confirmed cases in the western state of Rajasthan, including 22 pregnant women, as of 17 October. In that region, the first case was discovered on September 23. The state’s health department has deployed 330 teams to affected areas in the Shastri Nagar area in Jaipur. People who have tested positive are being isolated in hospitals or in their homes and are being monitored closely. Around 434,515 people have been brought under surveillance and 86,903 houses have been checked, according to to India’s Health Ministry. Four pregnant women have delivered normal babies. Fogging – intensive spraying of insecticides – in mosquito sites is also underway. The Indian government has allocated a little above $2,000, or 147,000 rupees, until now, to develop measures against the spread of the virus. Mosquito control is poor in India and small puddles of water exist across both rural and urban India, providing perfect breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
People in affected areas must be trained on prevention measures, such as ensuring there is no stagnant water around their homes, keeping doors and windows closed to make sure mosquitoes do not enter homes and seeking help if they get any of the symptoms associated with Zika. The virus can be transmitted through sexual contact, blood transfusion, by needle or from a pregnant woman to her fetus. The virus can cause microcephaly, a neurological disorder that results in babies being born with abnormally small heads, which in turn can cause severe developmental issues and sometimes death.