Zika virus confirmed in another woman in Pune

Officials said that a 28-year-old woman from Pashan has been confirmed to be infected with Zika virus. She had mild symptoms like fever, rashes and joint pain. On Thursday, the report of the National Institute of Virology (NIV) confirmed Zika virus infection in her blood samples.

According to the report received from a private lab, two more women have tested positive for Zika virus infection. Officials said samples of both the women will be sent to NIV for confirmation. (Representative photo)

According to the NIV report, there have been seven confirmed cases of Zika virus infection in the city as of July 5. Officials said the civic body considers only those cases as positive that are confirmed by the NIV.

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Meanwhile, reports from a private lab have confirmed Zika virus infection in two more women. Samples of both the women will be sent to NIV for confirmation.

According to officials, the two cases include a 31-year-old pregnant woman from Tingre Nagar, who is six weeks pregnant, and a 63-year-old woman from Deccan Mundhwa.

The pregnant woman's samples were sent to a private laboratory by Jehangir Hospital on Tuesday. She had come to the hospital for antenatal care and had been complaining of mild symptoms like fever, rashes and joint pain for the past two days. Multiplex RT-PCR tests confirmed Zika infection in the woman on Thursday.

Dr. Piyush Chaudhary, infectious disease specialist at Jahangir Hospital, said that the woman was pregnant through IVF technology and was in the first trimester of her pregnancy, which is considered a high-risk pregnancy.

“Given her symptoms, her samples were sent for testing to a private laboratory. We gave her symptom-based treatment and she came for a follow-up on Friday,” he said.

Dr Chowdhary said her health condition has improved and her symptoms have reduced. “Ultrasound test cannot be done now as it would be early and the test will be done after three to four weeks. The family has been counselled to take preventive measures. The woman's husband had symptoms first and the woman developed symptoms later,” he said.

Meanwhile, the 63-year-old woman complained of recurrent fever, severe joint pain and skin rashes. The test report conducted by the private hospital on Monday confirmed Zika virus infection. The PMC was informed about it on Friday, officials said.

PMC assistant health officer Dr Rajesh Dighe said Zika positive cases received from private laboratories will be treated as suspected cases and their samples will be sent to NIV Pune to confirm the infection.

“Surveillance, door-to-door testing and prevention activities will be initiated in the area. Pregnant women and people with symptoms like fever, rashes and joint pain should come forward to get tested for Zika virus infection. Citizens should take measures to prevent mosquito breeding in and around their homes,” he said.

According to officials, 11 samples of suspected patients were sent to NIV on Friday for testing for the virus infection. PMC health officer Dr Kalpana Baliwant said, “Out of these 11 samples, 5 are from pregnant women from Erandwane, 4 from Mundhwa area and 1 from Kothrud area.”

On Friday, samples of five suspected Zika patients, all pregnant women from Dhanukar Colony and Laxmi Nagar, were sent to NIV, all of which tested negative for Zika virus infection. PMC has so far sent 64 samples to NIV, including samples of 41 pregnant mothers. He said NIV has agreed to accept samples on Saturday as well.

Zika virus can be spread through mosquito bites, sexual contact, mother-to-fetus transmission during pregnancy, blood transfusions, and organ donation. Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause microcephaly and other congenital malformations in the infant, including limb contractures, high muscle tone, eye abnormalities, and hearing loss.

These clinical features are collectively called congenital Zika syndrome. It can also cause Guillain-Barré syndrome in the fetus.

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