Olympics pose Zika crisis for Africa
From ADANE BIKILA in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
ADDIS ABABA, (CAJ News) – AFRICA is worried at the risk of the importation of the Zika virus (ZIKV) epidemic from the ongoing Olympics and upcoming Paralympics in Brazil.
The events are in Rio de Janeiro with as much as 500 000 people expected to attend from all over the world.
The ZIKV outbreak in Brazil poses a threat of potential importation to the African continent and a further threat of a global spread.
The threat is currently pending over Africa as ZIKV has started circulating in Cape Verde and Guinea- Bissau.
Africa’s conditions make it prone to ZIKV outbreaks.It has favorable climate and long seasons of mosquito activities, wider distribution of transmitting mosquitos, limited health infrastructure and incapacity to detect and contain ZIKV outbreak.
Zika is also transmitted through sexual intercourse.
Hence, AU said, the importation of even few cases from affected countries might end up in explosive outbreak in the continent, with high social,economic impacts.
The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended mosquito bite prevention, safe sex, and postponing travel to affected countries.
It is estimated that 1,5 million people have been infected by Zika in Brazil.It has spread to other countries in South America, Central America,Mexico, and the Caribbean.
From 1951 through 1983, infections were reported from Central AfricanRepublic, Egypt, Gabon, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Uganda.
– CAJ News
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