Fresh Case Of Zika Virus Recorded

The National Environment Agency’s (NEA) has alerted the general public that a fresh case of Zika virus has been recorded in Singapore.

According to an update published on the NEA website, the case, which was diagnosed and reported to authorities on Jan.18, is the first of its kind in 2018 since the disease was thought to be eradicated from the country in September 2017.

NEA said the case appears to be an isolated one as there are no identified Zika clusters currently in the country.

The first case of locally transmitted Zika was first reported in August 2016, and 450 people were confirmed to have been infected by the end of the year.

The virus, which is spread by an infected Aedes mosquito, has been linked with neurological diseases and birth defects such as microcephaly, which causes babies to be born with a smaller head due to abnormalities in brain development.

A widespread epidemic of the Zika virus that originated in Brazil and swept through South and North America prompted the WHO to declare it a Public Health Emergency of International Concern in 2016 once its effects were discovered.

A joint sequencing study conducted in 2016 by the health ministry and the Agency for Science, Technology and Research found that the Zika strains circulating in Singapore were not imported from South America.

Invariably the virus in fact was similar to those which have been percolating in Southeast Asia since the 1960s.

However, whether this strain of the virus has the potential to wreak more or less harm than the South American strain is still unknown.

Zika virus is a member of the virus family Flaviviridae and is spread by daytime-active Aedes mosquitoes, such as A. aegypti and A. albopictus.

Its name comes from the Zika Forest of Uganda, where the virus was first isolated in 1947.


Mosquito Vectors To Zika Virus Present In Nigeria- Virologist

Zika, a virus transmitted mainly by Aedes Mosquitoes is currently ravaging South America with Brazil reporting the largest outbreak estimated at over one million infections.

As the virus spreads fast to parts of the world, World Health Organisation wants countries to take measures against its spread.

Reports have it that within South East Asia, sporadic cases of Zika have been detected in Cambodia, Indonesia, East Malaysia and Thailand.

What also appears worrisome is the link between Zika virus infection during pregnancy and brain malformation in the foetus as being witnessed now in Brazil.

Although, there was no case of Zika recorded  yet in Nigeria, people were becoming apprehensive in view of recent outbreak of Lassa fever and measles in some parts of the country.

Are Nigerians aware of the scourge of Zika virus in other clime?

Head of Department, Virology, University of Ibadan, Professor David Olaleye explained that Zika has been detected in the department in years past and was actually isolated in Nigeria in 1975.

Professor Olaleye who noted that the mosquitoes that are vectors to the virus are also present in Nigeria called for precautionary measures.

The virologist urged people to do everything and anything possible to prevent mosquito bites and ensure that they live in clean environments.

Professor Olaleye also advised those who must visit areas where mosquitoes breed to protect themselves by using mosquito repellent and treated nets.

Radio Nigeria

WHO Declares Mosquito-Borne ZIKA Virus A Global Emergency

The World Health Organization on Monday declared the mosquito-borne Zika virus an international public health emergency due to its link to thousands of birth defects in Brazil.

WHO Director-General, Margaret Chan , told journalists that coordinated international action was needed to improve detection and expedite work on a vaccine and better diagnostics for the disease, but said curbs on travel or trade were not necessary.

Chan, whose agency was assailed as too slow in reacting to West Africa’s Ebola epidemic that killed more than 10,000 people in the past two years, cited “first and foremost the big concern about microcephaly,” the birth defect that causes babies to be born with abnormally small heads and improperly developed brains.

She noted that it was “strongly suspected but not yet scientifically proven” that Zika causes microcephaly, Reuters reported.