NIV scientists to train Pune health workers to tackle Zika threat


Amid growing concerns over the Zika virus situation in the city, scientists from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)-National Institute of Virology (NIV) Pune will train health officials of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC).

In June, the PMC had reported five cases of Zika virus infection, including a 28-year-old pregnant woman from Erandwane. (Representative photo)

This month, PMC has reported five cases of Zika virus infection, including a 28-year-old pregnant woman from Erandwane.

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PMC health officer Dr Kalpana Baliwant said the training will be held on Wednesday and experts from NIV, public health department and PMC health staff will be present for the training.

“The training will be conducted online and will take into consideration the guidelines issued by experts for the prevention and management of Zika virus infection in the city,” he said.

According to officials, NIV experts may discuss SOPs to prevent Zika outbreak in the city. Prevention and surveillance activities will be discussed with the authorities.

PMC officials said, “As part of PMC's response to isolate its population from the new threat, NIV scientists will train us on testing, clinical symptoms, case definition and sample collection, etc.”

PMC assistant health officer Dr Rajesh Dighe said that during the training, NIV experts and state officials will issue guidelines to municipal officials.

“The guidelines will be followed for our ongoing prevention and surveillance activities following the Zika virus cases being reported. We have screened over 9,000 people living in Erandwane and Mundhwa following the cases being reported from this area,” he said.

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