Thiruvananthapuram | The Kerala government on Sunday said that measures have been intensified to prevent the spread of Zika virus, eight cases of which have been confirmed in the state's northern Kannur district, and that there was no need for any worry.
Advising people to be cautious, State Health Minister Veena George said the virus was spread by the Aedes mosquitoes and was usually harmless.
However, it affects pregnant women and can cause birth defects such as microcephaly in the foetus, the minister said in a release issued by the Health Department.
The department advised that children and the elderly should be especially careful not to get bitten by mosquitoes.
The Zika virus infections were reported from the Thalassery District Court in Kannur, it said.
Following that, the district administration intensified preventive steps by monitoring pregnant women in the area and issuing alerts and guidelines to all health institutions, including private hospitals, the release said.
The first infection was reported on October 30 and after that a medical camp was organised in the area on November 1 during which 24 samples were collected and sent for testing, it said.
Subsequently, to destroy the source of the Zika virus carrying mosquitoes, fogging and spraying as well as a larval survey were carried out, it said.
Additionally, aedes larvae and mosquitoes were collected and sent to the state's Department of Entomology, the release said.
Besides these measures, 104 houses near the court were visited by health workers, it said.