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All steps initiated to tackle Zika: Minister

With the first confirmed case of Zika virus reported Tamil Nadu in the Krishnagiri district, Health Minister Dr C Vijaya Bhaskar on Tuesday said all preventive measures were being taken by the government.

All steps initiated to tackle Zika: Minister
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Health Minister Vijaya Bhaskar flags off a rally on the occasion of World Population Day

Chennai

The Minister said the virus would not prove fatal. Allaying the apprehensions of the people, he said necessary precautionary measures were being taken to control it.  He said steps were being taken to monitor spread of the virus which was transmitted by the Aedes mosquito that cause dengue. 

Chairing a review meeting on Monday, Health Secretary Dr J Radhakrishnan said, a 27-year-old person from Krishnagiri has tested positive for  Zika virus.  

This is the first case reported in Tamil Nadu. In May, a few positive cases were reported from Gujarat. Over 40,000 tests for Zika have been done in India so far.  Dr Radhakrishnan said the patient, hailing from N Puttur in Natrampalayam Panchayat, was treated as an outpatient and has completely recovered. 

Dr Radhakrishnan said the patient had developed fever, headache and redness of eyes. Investigations for dengue, chikungunya and leptospirosis tested negative. The case was diagnosed on July 1.   

Samples from three other fever cases in the area also tested negative.  He stated that about 200 suspected cases of the virus were tested at the King Institute of Preventive Medicine and Research. 

Screening camp at Tiruchy Airport

After the outbreak of Zika virus in the state, a health counter has been set up at the Tiruchy International Airport for screening passengers. The airport authorities along with the health officials on Tuesday set up a screening camp for passengers arriving in nine international flights. 

According to Deputy Director (Health Services), I Ravindran, said that three teams of six doctors from health department, rural health services and airport doctors will screen the passengers, he revealed. Passengers are screened for high fever, nausea, joint pain and constant tiredness. On Tuesday, 150 passengers who arrived by the Sri Lankan Airlines, were screened. 

Health Minister flags  off rally in Chennai 

Themed ‘Family Planning: Empowering People, Developing Nations’, World Population Day was celebrated with several events marking the occasion in Chennai on Tuesday. State Health Minister Dr C Vijaya Baskar flagged off an awareness rally. 

“The state government hopes to bring down the infant mortality rate to below 15 per cent by the end of the year. It is seen that the higher order birth – one mother having three children or more – has been reduced to 7.9 per cent,” said the Minister. 

On the occasion, Union Health Minister J P Nadda, in Delhi, announced 146 districts in the Mission Parivar Vikas programme. He said that 24 states have achieved replacement level fertility of 2.1. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’s initiative on family planning includes communication camps that will use a 360-degree approach including posters, a website and a toll-free helpline, he added. 

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