World Health Organization says Zika virus strain 'imported from the Americas' to Africa

Zika virus under microscope
The WHO said it was concerned that the latest strain was spreading and was "on the doorstep of Africa".
It is currently circulating in Cape Verde, an archipelago off the north west coast of Africa.
Zika has been linked to neurological disorders including babies being born with small brains.
Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, said: "This information will help African countries to re-evaluate their level of risk and adapt and increase their levels of preparedness."
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Creating Awareness

She said African countries should raise awareness among pregnant women of the complications with the Zika virus and encourage people to protect themselves against mosquito bites and sexual transmission.
But she said she would not recommend strict travel restrictions to try to stop the spread of the disease.
There have been more than 7,000 suspected cases of Zika in Cape Verde, with 180 pregnant women thought to have been infected. The WHO says three babies have been born brain damaged with microcephaly.
Until the virus was sequenced by scientists in Senegal, it was not certain if the outbreak in Cape Verde was caused by the African or Asian type, which has hit Brazil and other Latin American countries.
Tests show that this is the Asian strain - the same as the one blamed for birth abnormalities in Brazil.
There have been around 1,300 confirmed cases of microcephaly - babies born with small brains - in Brazil, with thousands more under investigation.[read further here]


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