No Zika Virus in Nigeria – Minister

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Adewole

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THERE is no Zika virus in Nigeria. Isaac Folorunso Adewole, minister of Health, who gave the assurance, however, has called on Nigerians to be aware of the recent outbreak of Zika virus infection, which was first discovered in Brazil in 2014. The virus is transmitted by a bite of mosquito vector.

That notwithstanding, Adewole, called on Nigerians to be vigilant and report promptly any case of unexplained fever lasting more than 48 hours, especially in those with recent travels to Latin America, to health care professionals. He also enjoined those working at various ports of entry into the country to interview anyone coming from any of the Latin American countries for evidence Zika virus symptoms.

The manifestation of Zika virus infection include: mild fever, rash (mostly maculo-papular), headaches, joint pain (arthralgia), muscle pain (myalgia), loss of weight (asthenia), and non-purulent conjunctivitis. The virus is also associated with higher risk of congenital malformations in newborn when pregnant women are affected. The disease usually occurs about three to 12 days after the mosquito vector bite.

The World Health Organisation, WHO, has raised a global alert because the disease has affected about 23 countries in Americas especially in Latin America. At the moment, there is no cure or vaccine for Zika virus infection.

Hence, the federal ministry of Health has advised travellers, especially pregnant women to restrict their travelling to Latin America for now until situation improves.

As a form of precaution, Adewole has directed Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, to include Zika virus diagnosis as part of ongoing effort to manage Lassa Fever outbreak in the country.

The minister assured that the Health ministry would continue to monitor situation and update Nigerians of any other developments.

— Jan 29, 2016 @ 12:50 GMT

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