Thiruvananthapuram, July 11 : The Zika Virus tally in Kerala has touched 18 after a 22-month-old toddler, a 29-year-old health worker and a 46-year-old man tested positive for the disease, Health Minister Veena George announced on Sunday.
The minister, in a statement, also said that out of the 27 samples sent for testing in two batches, 26 turned out negative. In the third batch, three samples were found positive on Sunday.
George said that the National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune, has directed the state Health Department to collect the blood samples of those affected by the virus. She said that the state has 27 government labs which can conduct RTPCR tests and the facilities at these can be used for testing for Zika virus, if more testing kits reach the state.
The minister also said that instructions have been given to government hospitals to conduct tests of patients, especially pregnant women with fever, rashes, and body pain.
The Health Department, in a statement, said that the state has received 2,100 testing kits from NIV, Pune and of this, 1,000 have been given to Thiruvananthapuram, 300 each to Thrissur, and Kozhikode, and 500 to NIV, Alappuzha.