Thursday, February 2, 2017
ZIKA VIRUS NOW IN AFRICA?
By Laura Parvan
The Zika threat is definitely not good news for Angola, as the country has recently just surpassed the cholera and yellow fever epidemic that left hundreds of people dead. The number might yet be small, but considering the widespread and virulence of Zika outbreak, local officials are continuously monitoring the situation.
Despite last year’s September, the WHO said Zika is no longer a global health emergency, experts agreed that the virus will still be a threat for the affected areas.
“Up until two months ago, we didn’t have any detected case, but, now, we have two cases of Zika. We have to take preventable measures, especially in the anti-vectorial fight against the mosquitoes”, declared José Luis Gomes Sambo, the country’s health minister.
One of the cases was reported in Luanda and the other one was brought to the official’s attention due to a French citizen transiting the country.
According to the opinion of public health experts, the situation needs close monitoring, as Luanda, for example, has a dense population and a very poor infrastructure, which can be a highly favorable ground for the infection to spread.
Moreover, the current Zika strain seems to be more virulent than previous ones, so this translates into close monitoring and more security concerns for the Angolan authorities, as the country has already been through 506 human lives loses due to cholera and yellow fever.