Angola reports first two cases of Zika virus, should Barotseland be on Alert?

12 January 2017
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FILE PHOTO - An aedes aegypti mosquito is pictured on a leaf in San Jose, Costa Rica February 1, 2016. REUTERS/Juan Carlos Ulate/File Photo


An Angolan official has said on Wednesday that they had recorded the country’s first two cases of the Zika virus, just three months after a yellow fever epidemic which killed at least 400 people was brought under control, Reuters has reported.

Zika, a viral disease carried by mosquitoes, has spread to more than 60 countries and territories since an outbreak was identified in Brazil in 2015, raising alarm over its ability to cause the rare birth defect microcephaly.

"Up until two months ago, we didn't have any detected case, but, now, we have two cases of Zika," Health Minister José Luis Gomes Sambo told reporters in the Angolan capital Luanda.

"We have to take preventable measures, especially in the anti-vectorial fight against the mosquitoes."

Chavuma and Sikongo share borders with Angola. Chavuma is 11 km from Angola and citizens from the neighboring country seek medication here. Therefore, without quick attention from the relevant authorities, the virus is feared to spread in Barotseland and Zambia.

Angola is only just recovering from a yellow fever outbreak, which began in a densely-populated Luanda slum before rapidly spreading across the southwest African country and into neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo.

Nearly 12 million people were vaccinated against yellow fever last year in Angola and the DRC in a campaign led by the World Health Organization.

Sources: REUTERS/ Online media.

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