Bengaluru: An Indian athlete who returned from the Rio Olympics with fever and body ache is being treated in isolation at a hospital in Bengaluru where a full medical investigation is on to rule out the Zika virus.
Sudha Singh, 30, returned to India on Saturday and was taken to a hospital as she complained of joint pain and fatigue and her blood pressure plunged.
She had participated in the steeplechase competition. Ms Singh’s blood samples have been sent to a virology institute for Zika testing. Doctors say they want to be extra cautious since she was in Brazil where the virus is a major concern.
“It is probably just a viral infection but as protocol, we are investigating to rule out Zika,” said Dr SR Sarala, a senior scientific officer at the Sports Authority of India told NDTV.
Marathon runners OP Jaisha and Kavita Raut, who were Sudha’s roommates in Rio, are also said to be showing milder symptoms of a viral infection. The Sports Authority wanted Jaisha in hospital too but she went home to Kerala, said officials.
“It is respiratory droplet infection,” said Dr Sarala, explaining that the three shared the room and are all vulnerable to infection. Sudha is recovering and doing better than when she was first admitted, say doctors.
Zika, a mosquito-borne virus, can cause crippling birth defects and has also been linked to a neurological disorder. The World Health Organisation had said there is a “very low risk” of the Zika virus spreading further internationally as a result of the Olympic Games in Brazil.