State Health Minister Veena George said the virus was spread by the Aedes mosquitoes and it also causes dengue and Chikungunya. It affects pregnant women and can cause birth defects such as microcephaly in the foetus, said the health department. It is a defect where baby’s head is smaller than expected when compared to babies of the same sex and age.
The panic was set off after more than 60 persons — including judicial officers, court staff and advocates — sought medical assistance over the past week for discomfort, tiredness, itching, body pain, headache and fever. Based on the direction of the district judge, a medical camp was held at the court. With similar symptoms reported, three courts functioning within the complex had to be closed down for two days.
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 30 October and after that a medical camp was organised in the area on 1 November during which 24 samples were collected and sent for testing, it said.