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Kerala reports 3 more cases of Zika Virus, including a toddler

Thiruvananthapuram: Another three people, including a toddler, were detected infected with the Zika virus on Sunday, bringing the total to 18.

Health Minister Veena George said the government has provided testing facilities at Thiruvananthapuram, Thrissur and Kozhikode Medical colleges, as well as at the National Institute of Virology (NIV) unit in Alappuzha. ‘A 22-month-old toddler, a 46-year old man and a 29-year old health worker were found infected. There are 18 cases confirmed in the state,’ she said in a news release.

According to Ms. George, out of 27 samples that were sent for testing in two batches, 26 have come back negative. Three of the eight samples in the third batch were found to be infected on Sunday.

The health department announced that 2,100 test kits have been received from NIV Pune and 1,000 have been sent to Thiruvananthapuram, 300 each to Thrissur and Kozhikode and 500 to NIV in Alappuzha.

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The Thiruvananthapuram medical college received 500 triplex kits for the detection of RNA from dengue, chikungunya and Zika viruses, as well as 500 singleplex kits for detecting Zika virus alone, the Minister said in the release.

NIV Pune has instructed the health department to collect blood samples from those suspected to have been infected with the Zika virus.

‘More labs in the state will be equipped with testing facilities for Zika virus.’ In the state, we have 27 government labs that can run RT-PCR tests. After getting permission from the NIV, we will employ these labs for testing for Zika virus, the minister said.

In addition, she said hospitals were instructed to test pregnant women, especially those with fever, rashes and body pain.


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