Thiruvananthapuram | Jagran News Desk: Amid fears over a possible third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, a 24-year-old woman, who was pregnant recently, has been infected with Zika virus in Kerala, said state's health minister Veena George on Thursday.

Speaking to news agency PTI, George also said that 13 other suspected cases of the virus have also been discovered, adding that the state government is awaiting confirmation from Pune's National Institute of Virology (NIV).

Meanwhile, the woman, who hails from Thiruvananthapuram's Parassala, had began showing symptoms -- fever, headache and red marks on her body -- on June 28, following which she was admitted to a private hospital. Currently, she is stable.

The woman, who delivered her baby on Wednesday, has not travel history outside the state. However, the Kerala government said that her mother had also shown similar symptoms nearly a week ago.

The symptoms of Zika are similar to dengue including fever, skin rashes and joint pain. As per the World Health Organisation (WHO), Zika virus spreads by mosquito bites and was first identified in humans in Uganda and United Republic of Tanzania in 1952.

The Zika virus case has been reported in Kerala at a time when the state has been witnessing a spike in daily COVID-19 cases that has sparked a fear that a third wave of pandemic might soon hit the state.

On Thursday, the state recorded 13,772 new cases and 142 deaths that pushed the caseload and toll to 30.25 lakh and 14,250 respectively, said the state health department. Currently, the state has 1.10 lakh active cases while over 29 lakh patients have recovered from the infection.

This has also promted the Centre to send its team to Kerala. However, the Centre team has expressed satisfaction over the mitigation methods implemented in the state.

The team visited the Thiruvananthapuram General Hospital, Parippally medical college and Kolenchery General Hospital and took stock of the COVID-19 treatment facilities and held discussions with George.

"The team expressed satisfaction on the treatment given to the patients, basic facilities, and vaccination process in the state," George was quoted as saying by PTI. "We have also requested the union government to allot 90 lakh additional doses of vaccine. We are trying to vaccinate 2.5 to 3 lakh persons per day".

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma