Food & Health

Minister: FG Taking Measures Against Zika Virus

Zika virus

Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, on Thursday said the federal government has adopted proactive measures to protect the public against the dreaded Zika Virus.

The minister, who spoke at a media briefing on the Zika Virus disease and the Lassa Fever outbreak, disclosed that the Port Health Services have been instructed to immediately adjust and include points of entry screening to capture anti-Zika activities.

Zika Virus belongs to the flavivirus group of viruses to which Yellow Fever and Dengue viruses also belong. It was first discovered in Zika forest in Uganda in the year 1947. It is transmitted to people primarily through the bite of infected mosquitoes of Aedes species among which are Aedes aegypti, Aedes Luteocephalus and A. albopictus.

Adewole who reiterated that 40 percent of Nigerians are immuned to the Zika Virus, however, stressed the need for returnees from Brazil or any of the other effected countries to report to hospitals should they display symptoms of the disease. The minister also warned pregnant women against travelling to Brazil for the meantime.

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He said there is no vaccine for Zika virus, and no cure other than rest, plenty of fluids and perhaps over-the-counter medication to reduce fevers, aches and pains as previously mentioned. This, therefore, means that prevention is most effective means of preventing transmission.

Giving an update on the Lassa Fever outbreak, the minister insisted that the decline in the number of new cases was a pointer to the fact that government has put the disease under control.

According to data presented by him, the total cases reported (suspected, probable and confirmed) is 176; total deaths (suspected, probable and confirmed), 108 (CFR: 61.4 percent), total confirmed cases: 78; deaths in confirmed cases: 49 (CFR: 62.8 percent ). Also, 20 states are currently following up contacts or have suspected or probable cases with laboratory results pending or laboratory confirmed cases.

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