CHIKKABALLAPUR/BENGALURU: Karnataka is on a high alert after Zika virus was detected in a mosquito sample collected from Chikkaballapur district, report Ranganath K & Mini P Thomas. The sample was collected from Talakayalabetta village in Sidlaghatta taluk on September 25.
This is the first time that Zika virus has been detected in Karnataka. As thousands of people travel daily to Bengaluru and other places from Chikkaballapur, they have been advised to follow certain precautionary measures.
Health department officials said mosquitoes, people with fever and pregnant women from 68 places from across the state have been randomly tested for Zika virus infections over the past couple of months.According to the state health department, a 30-year-old man from Dibburahalli, a 38-year-old woman from Talakayalabetta and a 50-year-old woman from Bachhanahalli were detected with fever. Their blood samples have been sent to the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune for confirmation.
Zika virus is transmitted by the Aedes mosquito. Symptoms include rashes, fever, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, malaise and headache. Currently, there is no vaccine or specific treatment available for this infection.

Following detection of the virus, preventive measures are being taken by Karnataka health department in Talakayalabetta, Venkatapura, Dibburahalli, Bacchanahalli and Vaddahalli that fall within a five-kilometre radius of Talakayalabetta, said Dr SS Mahesh Kumar, district health Officer, Chikkaballapur. So far, 38 blood samples have been collected from the district for testing, of which 31 are from pregnant women, the health official said. “Steps are being taken to collect samples from two other pregnant women who have gone to their native villages,” he added.

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