It is learnt that out of the 19 samples sent for testing at the National Institute of Virology in Pune, 13 tested positive for the virus. However, there is no official confirmation of the same. All the samples were sent from Thiruvananthapuram. The 24-year-old pregnant woman from Parassalla near Thiruvananthapuram who tested positive for the virus is stable and is undergoing treatment at a private hospital.
The doctors at the hospital said since the virus is not life threatening there is no need for concern.
The woman was admitted with fever, headache and rashes over her body. She was tested for dengue fever and chikungunya but both the tests turned negative. The doctors, suspecting that the symptoms were similar to that of Zica, sent the samples to NIV in Pune. The delivery of the woman was on July 7.
The doctors said since on preliminary investigations they suspected it to be a Zica case they took all the necessary precautions. Similar symptoms were reported from the 19 people whose samples were sent for testing.
Health officials said Zika is not a life-threatening disease and that the patients need to get plenty of rest. In fact, there is no antiviral treatment or vaccine against Zika virus at the moment. The best preventive method is to avoid mosquito bites during the day, they said. The virus, however, is dangerous for pregnant women as they can pass on the infection to their infants that could cause deformities.
The symptoms of Zika are similar to those of dengue and chikungunya. Usually the symptoms start manifesting within two to seven days after being bitten by an infected mosquito.
The illness is characterized by pink eye, a skin rash with red spots on the face, neck, trunk, and upper arms which can spread to the palms or soles, and sensitivity to light. Most people fully recover from the illness within seven days.