State gears up to prevent Zika virus

State gears up to prevent Zika virus
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Highlights

In the wake of the first case of Zika virus being detected in Tamil Nadu, the Health Department has sounded an alert and asked Petlaburj Maternity Hospital, Gandhi Hospital, Fever Hospital and Niloufer Hospital where a large number of institutional deliveries take place to closely monitor delivery cases.

Plans are afoot to make arrangements for blood testing in major government hospitals in Hyderabad to detect the virus

Hyderabad: In the wake of the first case of Zika virus being detected in Tamil Nadu, the Health Department has sounded an alert and asked Petlaburj Maternity Hospital, Gandhi Hospital, Fever Hospital and Niloufer Hospital where a large number of institutional deliveries take place to closely monitor delivery cases.

According to Dr G Subbalakshmi, Joint Director, Epidemics, Directorate of Health, if the clinical trials of any patient prove to be negative after tests for dengue and chikungunya, the blood samples should be tested for Zika virus too.

“A special test for detecting zika, ‘RT PCR’ Kits are available at the Institute of Preventive Medicine (IPM),” she said, and added Dr K Shivaleela, Managing Director, IPM, had been specially trained for the purpose. The department also proposes to conduct a workshop for the doctors, specially paediatricians, to create awareness among the medical fraternity.

Microcephaly will be employed for detection of virus. It is defined as a head circumference (HC) measurement that is smaller than a certain value for babies of the same age and sex. To detect microcephaly during pregnancy, ultrasound test should be carried out late in the second trimester or early in the third trimester.

Besides, Dr Subbalakshmi also said the most important factor, head circumference should be carefully measured and documented. Any abnormality reported should be informed to the Health Department immediately for one or more tests to confirm the diagnosis, she added.

By V Naveen Kumar

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