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India’s most populous north-central state, Uttar Pradesh, which was already reeling from a large number of dengue fever cases, now faces another grave health challenge: Zika virus.
The virus spreads through the bite of an infected mosquito belonging to the Aedes genus.
Doctors say that the infection is not fatal, but it can cause serious neurological problems. Ved Vrat Singh, director general of medical and health services in Uttar Pradesh, said that a total of 143 Zika virus cases have been confirmed, adding that the situation is “generally under control”.
India’s National Vector-Borne Disease Control Programme reveals that a total of 123,106 dengue cases were reported from January to October this year, with Uttar Pradesh having the highest number of cases at 21,687.
Singh insists that there are more dengue cases this year, but says that the two diseases are being fought simultaneously.
India’s western state of Gujarat was the first to report a Zika outburst in 2016-17, after which other states also confirmed cases in 2018.