(ZIZ News) — Chief Medical Officer, Dr Patrick Martin says there are no confirmed cases of zika in the Federation at this time.
According to a statement issued today, over the past 3 – 4 weeks, several suspect samples were sent to CARPHA for testing – all were negative.
The statement says zika is transmitted by the bite of the aedes mosquito, unprotected sexual intercourse with an infected person, transfusion of untested blood donated by an infected person, and from an infected pregnant female to unborn.
Symptoms of zika infection include fever, joint pain (less severe than chikungunya), rash, and red eye without a discharge. Many infected persons (up to 80%) do not show symptoms.
Regarding reported complications; research is ongoing to determine cause.
According to a PAHO report dated 17 March, Brazil is the only country in the region that has officially reported an increase in microcephaly and other congenital malformations of the central nervous system.
Dr Martin says certain social and traditional media reports give the impression that all newborns in brazil are affected but this is false.
His statement said the complication rate so far is approximately 1 in 1500 newborns which is very low. Almost all cases (97%) were reported from one of Brazil’s five regions i.e. the Northeast.
The Ministry of Health urges all residents to continue to eradicate aedes breeding sites in and around homes. Any container that can hold a single drop of water is a potential breeding site.