Sudha Singh's Zika fears downplayed

She arrived here on Saturday from Rio de Janeiro complaining of a high temperature and joint pains, and was admitted to a nearby hospital after initial examination at the SAI here.

Sudha, who competed in the women's 3,000m steeplechase event, was feeling poorly when she arrived but had improved as of Monday afternoon.   -  PTI

The Sports Authority of India's South Centre has sought to downplay fears of Sudha Singh suffering from a possible Zika virus infection. The athlete arrived here on Saturday from Rio de Janeiro complaining of a high temperature and joint pains, and was admitted to a nearby hospital after initial examination at the SAI here.

“It's not that she has Zika. She has a viral infection and the high temperature and joint pains are symptoms of any viral infection. Immunology tests are being conducted. We just have to rule out Zika,” said Dr. S. R. Sarala, Senior Scientific Officer at the SAI.

Sudha, who competed in the women's 3,000m steeplechase event, was feeling poorly when she arrived but had improved as of Monday afternoon, Dr. Sarala added. “Her blood pressure was quite low when she arrived. I was quite surprised (that she had traveled in that condition). She was weak and unable to speak or even express herself. Her voice was completely gone. But she's better now. She will take time to recover. She has a viral infection but that doesn't mean she's suffering from Zika. Since Zika is endemic to that area (Brazil), that is just one line of investigation we are pursuing,” she said.

The 30-year-old's serum samples have been collected and sent to the National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune, for Zika virus testing. The samples have been sent in person by road to avoid any delay.