Zika virus now global concern than Ebola, says World Health Organisation: Malawi on alert

Zika virus – which may cause severe birth defects –  could be a bigger threat to global health than the Ebola epidemic that killed more than 11,000 people in Africa and the World Health Organization  has declared the Zika virus an international public health emergency, a rare move that signals the seriousness of the outbreak and gives countries new tools to fight it.

Researchers study Zika virus

Researchers study Zika virus

The virus is not contagious and can be passed on through mosquito bites.

Zika is transmitted by the bite of an infected female Aedes mosquito and breeds in countires where the temperature is consistently high enough.

Malawi’s Ministry of Health (MoH)  has said the mosquitoes carrying the virus, which has spread in South America, are different from the local ones.

But environmental health expert Michael Chimaliza has said the virus could spread to Malawi and the Africa region because the Aedes species of mosquitoes was also common here.

Chimaliza said the same principles of how one can prevent contracting mosquito-borne diseases like malaria can also apply to Zika which includes prevention of mosquito bites by using barriers such as insecticides, sleeping in a treated mosquito net and wearing clothing that covers exposed areas when travelling to a mosquito infested area.

At a news conference in Geneva, Dr. Margaret Chan, the director general of the W.H.O, said the emergency designation would allow the health agency to coordinate the many efforts to get desperately needed answers.

Officials said research on the effects of Zika in pregnant women was underway in at least three countries: Brazil, Colombia and El Salvador.

Dr Alain Cole from the University of Glasgow told BBC News there was “mounting circumstantial evidence” Zika could be linked to microcephaly.

“Probably the majority of people will not even realise they are infected [with Zika]. Only about 20% of people will develop symptoms – and these symptoms are mild,” he added.

Meanwhile, Prof Trudie Lang from the University of Oxford said the scientists needed to understand why Zika was “picking up like this”.

She said: “What seems to be happening is it’s crossing into unborn babies, and causing this problem… but we really don’t know, and we need to do more research.”

Ministry of Health spokesperson Adrian chikukumbe  said they  have  issued travel warnings to pregnant women or  those who intend to become pregnant shortly not to go to the region infested with virus.”

The current outbreak of Zika has taken the world by surprise. The virus was first identified in 1947 in Uganda, and for years lived mostly in monkeys. But last May in Brazil, cases began increasing drastically. The W.H.O. has estimated that four million people could be infected by the end of the year. The rapid spread is because people in the Americas have not developed immunity, public health experts say.

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NZOZO KUNUNKHA
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NZOZO KUNUNKHA
7 months 25 days ago

mwapanganso kena cholinga muphe anthu koma abale WHO sizatheka

TheEpidemiologist
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TheEpidemiologist
7 months 27 days ago

Thanks nyasatimes for the alert!! The Epidemiology, host-genetic characteristics and biochemical characteristics about Zika is not well established. Just today CDC confirmed one case of Zika virus being transmitted through sexual intercourse. It helps I think to be patient and gather more information about infectious diseases than to rush scaring people for the infection that you don’t even well understand. Copying info from what BBC, CNN etc say and pasting on nyasatimes is not helpful. Use local or international experts to gather your information.

Gibson jimmy
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Gibson jimmy
7 months 28 days ago

Am luckly coz am nt a woman!!!

Harry
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Harry
7 months 28 days ago

So zika is also tracing its origin from Africa and association with monkeys!

Issa Kabudula
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Issa Kabudula
7 months 28 days ago
It was TB, as time went came Malaria, Cholera, Typhoid Fever, HIV/Aids was top selling disease many are still rich,N1H1 was not a hit, Ebola only one year, Mars of Malaysia few months and now Zika. All these diseases we are forgetting the every day disease called (STRESS)and this disease which is manufactured by people everyday of our lives is the top kill than the above mentioned diseases. Stress is killing our nations more than the war of IRAQ,SYRIAN, YEMEN and LIBYA combined. The first day the disease is announced either on the TV/Radio, the countries madness comes in through… Read more »
ineyo
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ineyo
7 months 28 days ago

We may already have this virus in Malawi and we we are just growing with unknowing thanks to our porus healthy sector.

Ronnex
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Ronnex
7 months 28 days ago

May God punish those Americans wth this virus for pushing us into a sin of homosexial!
More viral and deadly diseases are on your way if your r not going to stop this nosense issue of mathanyula!

Ronnex
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Ronnex
7 months 28 days ago

May God use this virus to punish those Americans pushing us to practice homosexial. Please!!!

Plagues and lies
Guest
Plagues and lies
7 months 28 days ago

ANOTHER FAKE VIRUS TO CREATE FEAR AND MORE VACCINES TO GIVE TO PEOPLE OF COLOUR. FROM BIRD FLU, EBOLA NOW ZIKA. WHEN DO THESE SICK GLOBALISTS STOP. BRAZIL IS THE NEXT REGION WITH MOST BLACK PEOPLE IN THE WORLD NEXT TO AFRICA SO WHERE IS THE ZIKA COMING FROM THEY SAY BRAZIL.

Mbona
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Mbona
7 months 28 days ago

1. Matenda pakadali pano Ali Kumwera Kwa Afrika
2. Tsono, chifukwa matenda ndi chinthu choipa mukuti pa chiyambi anabvumbulutsidwa pakati pa anyani mu Dziko la Uganda mu Chaka mwatchulacho, zilumika zambiri zapitazo. Koma chonsecho zaka zadutsa palibe wadwala.
3. Ndiyesa anthu Inu ndinu anyani, zitsiru, agang’anthi; chili honse choipa mumatipo yera kuno Ku Afrika.
4. Matendawa ayambira kwanu konko, ndi utchisi , kufuntha ndi kusasamala kwanu. Musatinamizire ife Mtundu WA Afrika.
5. Zitsiru, mwatidzunza pa nthawi ya ukapolo pa makolo ndi utsamunda.
6. Mxiiiii! Panyoo panu.

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