Concerns about vector-borne infections have been heightened by a mosquito that tested positive for Zika in the Chikkaballapur District of Karnataka. Zika virus infection has never been observed in humans. The Zika virus was found in a mosquito during routine surveillance of mosquito pools. The Health Department has issued an alert to reduce mosquitoes and take precautions.
One of the 100 mosquito samples taken from Shidlaghatta taluk in Chikkaballapur District for the random pool test tested positive for Zika. The state government issued an alert within a five-kilometer radius of Talakayalabetta, where the sample came from. A total of six mosquito samples were collected in Chikkaballapur, of which only one was positive for Zika. The rest were all negative. The model was taken on September 25, 2017.
Dinesh Rao, Karnataka’s health minister, said that the virus was only found in a sample of a mosquito during a routine surveillance check on a mosquito pool.
As of yet, there has been no human case of Zika in Karnataka. We have detected the positive test for Zika in a mosquito. Three people with high fever were under surveillance, and blood samples were sent to be tested. Results are expected in three days,” Rao said.
Samples were collected on September 25. On October 25, the National Institute of Virology in Pune confirmed the presence of Zika virus.
In December 2022, Karnataka saw its first Zika case when a 5-year-old girl tested positive for vector-borne infection. The girl recovered, and the virus was not spread to others.
Dr A Usha is an entomologist at the Health and Family Welfare Department in Karnataka. She says random mosquito samples taken during surveillance revealed Zika.
Rao said, “We test the mosquito wherever the mosquito threat is high.”
What is the test for mosquitoes?
Zika testing is not only for humans but also for mosquitoes. “We randomly select the vector mosquitoes. Not all mosquitos are disease-causing. They will be isolated for the virus, and RTPCR testing will be done. The mosquitoes will be tested for dengue, Chikungunya, and Zika. The DNA of the mosquito will be extracted. This is done regularly. “Random sampling tests have revealed the virus circulation,” stated Dr Usha.
She said that this is the second time in Karnataka that a mosquito has tested positive for Zika. “It was first seen in a mosquito at Gadag, North Karnataka, in November 2022. She said that no human infections had been seen before.
Dr Usha observes that the public is not aware of mosquito breeding. “People think mosquitoes only breed in dirty, polluted waters. Mosquitoes can breed in any container that holds water, including barrels and cement tanks. “Storing clean water in residential premises is a major problem,” she explains, adding that chemical sprays are necessary to remove larvae.
Dr Usha says that mosquitoes are not only a problem during the monsoon. Mosquitos are perineal and container breeders, meaning that they breed irrespective of season. During the rainy season, water is collected in the discarded containers. This increases the number of breeding places and density of the mosquito vector.
Zika symptoms include fever, headaches, red eyes, pain in the body, and rashes. Officials from the health department say that mosquito control is necessary to prevent vector-borne disease and reduce larvae.
In Karnataka, the Zika virus was detected in a sample of mosquitoes, causing concern about vector-borne infections. The state health department, while there has not been a human Zika infection yet, is waiting for the results of the tests on three people suspected of having typical Zika symptoms. The Mosquito Control measures are in place.