Zambia on ZIKA alert


Government says it has taken seriously the global alert by the World Health Organisation-WHO- on the reported cases of the ZIKA virus in some parts of South America.

Deputy Minister of Health, Chitalu Chilufya says the ministry will focus on measures to ensure that the disease does not cross into the country.

Dr. Chilufya has told ZNBC News in an interview in Mpika that the ministry has strengthened the countrywide indoor residual spraying to eliminate the mosquitoes, which are carriers of the Zika virus.

He adds that the ministry will also strengthen the surveillance system countrywide to raise the index of suspicion among health workers in the country.

And Dr. Chilufya has disclosed that results have shown a Zero point Zero three prevalence rate of the ZIKA virus on samples which were taken for yellow fever surveillance in Northern and Western provinces.

He said the country for now has no evidence of active ZIKA virus.

The World Health Organisation has declared a global public health emergency on the fast spreading disease.

Zika is carried by mosquitoes and has been linked to thousands of babies being born with underdeveloped brains.

However, the BBC reports that a rare case of the Zika virus being transmitted through sex, not a mosquito bite, has been reported in the US.