Â *Urges Nigerians to shelve travelling to Latin America
By Wahab Akanji, Abuja
Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole has urged pregnant Nigerian women against traveling to Latin America over outbreak of a viral disease known as Zika.
The strange disease which is transmitted via mosquito bites causes babies to have abnormally small heads and growth difficulties.
The spokesperson of the Federal Ministry of Health, Boade Akinola, in a statement on Friday, said though there is no recorded case of the disease in the country, Nigerians are however urged not to visit Latin America.
â€The Honourable Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Folorunso Adewole is intimating Nigerians on the recent outbreak of Zika virus infection, which was first discovered in Brazil in 2014. The virus is transmitted by a bite of mosquito vector.
â€œThe 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.
â€œThe disease usually occurs about three (3) to twelve (12) days after the mosquito vector bite. The World Health Organisation 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.
â€œThe federal ministry of health hereby advises a travel restriction especially by pregnant women to Latin America for now until situation improves. In addition, the honourable minister of health has 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.
â€œProf Adewole, therefore urges Nigerians to be vigilant and report promptly any case of unexplained fever that is more than 48 ho
urs, especially in those with recent travels to Latin America, to health care professionals.
He also enjoined those working at various port of entry into the country to interview anyone coming from any of the Latin American countries for evidence Zika virus symptoms.