Two tested pos­i­tive for Zika die, virus af­fects 84 in MP

Hindustan Times (Delhi) - - NATION - Shruti To­mar let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

The deaths were not due to Zika virus.

A 21­year­old man died as he was suf­fer­ing from Ja­pa­nese en­cephali­tis while a young woman died as she had di­a­betes mel­li­tus. It is in­ci­den­tal that they also tested pos­i­tive for Zika virus

DR HI­MAN­SHU JAYSWAR, official spokesper­son for state health depart­ment

BHOPAL: Two per­sons who tested pos­i­tive for the Zika virus died over the past week, as the num­ber of pos­i­tive cases in Mad­hya Pradesh climbed to 84. State health depart­ment of­fi­cials fa­mil­iar with the mat­ter, how­ever, said on Satur­day that the deaths were not be­cause of the virus but other dis­eases.

Of the two deaths, the first was of a 21-year-old man on Tues­day night.

The sec­ond was of a 19-yearold woman on Thurs­day, the of­fi­cials said.

But they re­fused to dis­close where ex­actly the deaths had taken place to pre­vent the spread of panic.

“The deaths were not due to Zika virus. A 21-year-old man died as he was suf­fer­ing from Ja­pa­nese en­cephali­tis while a young woman died as she had di­a­betes mel­li­tus. It is in­ci­den­tal that they also tested pos­i­tive for Zika virus,” said Dr Hi­man­shu Jayswar, t he official spokesper­son for the depart­ment of health, Mad­hya Pradesh.

The of­fi­cials, how­ever, con­ceded that the virus was spread­ing and 84 peo­ple, in­clud­ing 17 preg­nant women, had tested pos­i­tive over the last 10 days.

The af­fected ar­eas in­clude Sironj in Vidisha district, a vil­lage in Se­hore, three lo­cal­i­ties in Bhopal and a lo­cal­ity in Sa­gar, they said, re­fus­ing to give fur­ther de­tails.

“The sud­den out­break hap­pened in th­ese ar­eas. Health depart­ment teams are work­ing 24x7 to con­tain the virus. We are hop­ing that it would be con­trolled in three or four days,” Dr Jayswar said.

On Satur­day, about 200 peo­ple across the state were tested for the virus on the sus­pi­cion that they might be in­fected, the of­fi­cials said.

“Three pa­tients first tested pos­i­tive for the Zika virus on November 1. In 10 days, the num­bers have in­creased to 84. In Mad­hya Pradesh, test­ing fa­cil­ity is avail­able only at AIIMS Bhopal. Many peo­ple in the af­fected ar­eas are com­plain­ing of rashes on their body, fever and red­ness in the eye but due to in­fra­struc­ture con­straints, the test­ing process is very slow,” said a health official who is not au­tho­rised to speak to the me­dia.

Of­fi­cials of the emer­gency med­i­cal re­lief wing of the Direc­torate of Gen­eral Health Ser­vices, Delhi, are camp­ing in the af­fected ar­eas. The health depart­ment has called a meet­ing on Sun­day and chief min­is­ter Shivraj Singh Chouhan will chair it, an official said.

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