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No Need For Awareness Campaign, Gujarat Authorities Say After WHO Confirms 3 Zika Cases In India

Everything is under control, they said.

29/05/2017 9:21 AM IST | Updated 29/05/2017 9:22 AM IST
Paulo Whitaker / Reuters

Even as the World Health Organisation confirmed the first three cases of Zika in India, in Gujarat, authorities in the state have said that there was no need for campaign in the state to create awareness about the spread of the virus.

The Indian Express reported state chief secretary J N Singh as saying, "These were isolated cases. If there were reports of spread of the disease, there would have been warnings."

"We want to assure people that due care has been taken to check the possibility of spread of the Zika virus after its first detection. In fact, both pregnant women whose blood samples had revealed the virus have given birth to healthy babies," Singh was quoted by Business Standard as saying.

According to The Indian Express, the government also said there was a 'mistake' in the WHO report and that the first cases and said that the patients belonged to separate localities.

The WHO had endorsed the findings of laboratory tests conducted in India, saying that all three cases, including that of a pregnant woman, were reported from the Bapunagar area Ahmedabad.

However, according to a report in The Hindu, Singh said the report was old, and the state had already initiated measures and no other cases had been reported.

Zika is spread by the daytime-active Aedes mosquitoes and an infection during pregnancy can cause birth defects in newborns known as microcephaly. The condition causes the babies' head to become abnormally small. It causes brain damage and may cause other defects like blindness, deafness, and even seizures.

"The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India (MoHFW) reported three laboratory-confirmed cases of Zika virus disease in Bapunagar area, Ahmedabad District, Gujarat State, India," the global health body said in a statement.

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