Zika virus hits India's tourism hotspot of Jaipur

29 Zika virus cases found in India’s Rajasthan

India scrambles to control Zika outbreak

"If there is a need to collect samples, we are collecting that on a large scale", Gupta said at a press conference here. "It is our continuous surveillance process going on and wherever we will come across such cases, we will adhere to our protocol to wipe it".

Zika is a mosquito-borne infection, spread by the Aedes mosquito in the same way as malaria, dengue fever and chikungunya.

All pregnant mothers in the area will also be monitored, according to a statement released by India's Health Ministry. I assure people that everything is under control.

The Health Ministry on Tuesday appealed to people not to panic and assured them that the Zika outbreak was under control, after 29 people were tested positive for the disease in Rajasthan's Jaipur.

Addressing a press conference here, she said: "To date, a total of 29 cases of Zika virus have been confirmed in Jaipur".

The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) on Monday sought a comprehensive report from the Health Ministry on the outbreak of Zika virus. Officials said a control room has been activated at the National Centre for Disease Control in New Delhi to undertake regular monitoring of the situation. ICMR, National Centre for Disease Control and DGHS are monitoring this. Following this, the state has issued advisories to all its 38 districts to keep a close watch on people showing symptoms similar to Zika virus infection.

Denying reports of laxity on part of the state government, Gupta said around 150 to 200 teams, along with administrative officials, are combing the affected area.

Dr P Ravindran, director of Emergency Medical Relief under the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, said in Jaipur that the present outbreak in the state surpasses the past two instances of Zika outbreaks in Ahmedabad and Krishnagiri, Tamil Nadu.

It is harmful to pregnant women, as it can lead to microcephaly, a condition in which a baby's head is significantly smaller than expected, in newborn children. The virus was first discovered in 1947. But cases of transmission via sex or blood transfusion have also been reported. There is now no vaccine to the virus which can cause severe birth defects in unborn children.

The chief secretary directed officers to ease the panic among the people about zika as it is not fatal except in pregnant women in their first trimester.

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