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As Zika Virus Spreads, Nigerian Government Issues Travel Warning To Latin America

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The Federal Government has issued a travel restriction to Latin America following the outbreak of Zika virus infection in the region.

The travel restriction, especially by pregnant women will be on until situation improves, the government stated.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has raised a global alert because the disease has affected about 23 countries in Americas especially in Latin America.

At the moment, there is no cure or vaccine for Zika virus infection.

Zika virus infection was first discovered in Brazil in 2014. The virus is transmitted by a bite of mosquito vector.

The manifestation of Zika virus infection include: mild fever, rash (mostly maculo-papular), headaches, joint pain (arthralgia), muscle pain (myalgia), loss of weight (asthenia), and non-purulent conjunctivitis.

The virus is also associated with higher risk of congenital malformations in newborn when pregnant women are affected. The diseases usually occur about three (3) to twelve (12) days after the mosquito vector bite.

Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole who announced the travel advice, also called for closer monitoring and screening at various ports of entry, especially with recent travel history to Latin America.

According to a press statement signed by Mrs. Boade Akinola, Director, Media and Public Relations, Ministry of Health, Prof. Adewole also directed Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) to include Zika virus diagnosis as part of ongoing effort to manage Lassa fever outbreak in the country.

The minister further assured Nigerian that there is no single case of Zika virus infection in the country and there is no need to panic, stressing that the Federal Ministry of Health will continue to monitor the situation and update Nigerians of any other developments.

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