Kerala: Five more people test positive for Zika virus; Caseload nears 30
Thiruvananthapuram, July 15: While the Kerala government is scrambling to contain the spread of the Zika virus, as many as five more people in the state have tested positive for the deadly infection, taking the overall tally to nearly 30.
According to reports, the state, which is also dealing with the deadly COVID-19 outbreak, now has 28 Zika positive cases.
Of the new cases, four are women. Two are natives of Anayara in Thiruvananthapuram, where a cluster of the disease was identified in a three kilometre radius, state Health Minister Veena George said on Thursday.
The other infected people hail from East Fort, Kunnukuzhi and Pattom in the district. All the samples were tested at the National Virology Institute in Alappuzha.
"Four samples were sent from a private hospital in Thiruvananthapuram, while one was collected by the Health Department as part of surveillance. With this, the total number of infections in the state rose to 28," the minister said.
The 16 other samples that had gone for tests have come back negative.
On Wednesday, the Kerala Health Department said that a cluster of the deadly Zika virus was identified within a 3 km radius of Anayara, and measures are being taken to exterminate all mosquitoes in the area in order to prevent further spread.
A control room has also been set up at the district medical office to monitor the outbreak in the state capital.
The Zika threat also looms over the coastal district of Mangaluru in Karnataka that shares its border with Kerala.