Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Nigerian Government raise alert for Zika Virus

The Federal Government has put all the 36 states including the Federal Capital Territory, FCT,  on a red alert following the declaration of Zika virus as an international public  health emergency by the World Health Organisation, WHO.

Disclosing this to Vanguard in a telephone interview, the Director General of Nigerian Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, Prof Abdulsalam Nasidi said the red alert was to enable effective monitoring of the mosquito-borne Zika virus.

The Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes that transmit the Zika virus, are found in Nigeria and Nasidi and explained that the decision taken by the government is in line with global practice.

Zika virus is spread to people through mosquito bites. The most common symptoms of Zika virus disease are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting from several days to a week. Severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon.

In May 2015, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) issued an alert regarding the first confirmed Zika virus infection in Brazil. The outbreak in Brazil led to reports of Guillain-Barré syndrome and pregnant women giving birth to babies with birth defects and poor pregnancy outcomes.Spread of the virus through blood transfusion and sexual contact have been reported.

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