.WHO - ZIKA VIRUS IN AFRICA ~ :: Habari Duniani

The World Health Organization confirmed the virus in Cape Verde is the same as the one behind an explosion of cases in the Americas. 
Tests show an outbreak of Zika virus on the African Island chain of Cape Verde is of the same strain as the one blamed of birth abnormalities in Brazil, the World Organization said on Friday.

The Zika virus which has infected more than 7,500 people in an island nation off the western coast of Africa is the same strain spreading through the Americas.
“The findings are of concern because it is further proof that the outbreak is spreading beyond South America and is on the doorstep of Africa,” said WHO’sAfrica director Matshidiso Moeti.

“This information will help African countries to re-evaluate their level of risk and adapt and increase their levels of preparedness,” she said.
Moeti said she would not recommend strict travel restrictions to try to stop the spread of the disease further into Africa, but advocated efforts to control mosquito numbers and stop people being bitten.

Three babies have developed microcephaly - the same devastating condition that has left babies in Brazil and elsewhere with undersized brains and skulls.  
'This is the first time that strain of Zika which has been showed to cause neurological disorders and microcephaly has been detected in Africa,' said Matshidiso Moeti, WHO's Africa regional chief.

The so-called Asian strain of the virus has infected some 1.5 million people in hardest-hit country Brazil alone, and was detected in Cape Verde through the sequencing of Zika cases in the island nation.

'It is the same genetic material as the virus in Brazil,' WHO spokeswoman Marsha Vanderford told AFP.
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