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Friday, 12 February 2016
Mosquitoes carrying Zika virus are in Nigeria, active and flying around - Health Minister
Nigerians have been warned to make use of mosquito nets, owing to the presence of mosquitoes carrying Zika virus in the country.
The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, disclosed this on Thursday, during a press briefing in Abuja, where he explained that the mosquitoes were active and flying around.
The Minister added that the Zika-carrying mosquitoes usually bite during the day and early morning.
Professor Adewole urged Nigerians to remain calm, vigilant and also to report any suspected case of an acute febrile illness in pregnant women, in particular, to any nearest health facility.
“Nigerian scientists working in Western Nigeria in 1954 discovered Zika virus in Nigeria. Further studies in the years 1975 to 1979 showed that 40 per cent of Nigeria adults and 25 per cent of Nigerian children have antibodies to Zika virus, meaning they are protected against this virus.”
“Despite the fact that some Nigerians are immune to the Zika virus infection as demonstrated by previous studies, it is important and advisable that Nigerians should be careful and protect themselves from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine for Zika virus, and no cure other than rest, plenty of fluids and perhaps over-the-counter medication to reduce fevers, aches and pains as previously mentioned.”
This, therefore, means that prevention is most effective means of preventing transmission. “I advise all Nigerians, particularly pregnant women, to avoid travelling to countries infected by this virus in these periods. If however, you are to visit any country where Zika virus is now being actively transmitted, you are advised to protect yourselves from mosquito bites.”
“Pregnant women considering travel to affected areas may wish to consult their health-care provider prior to travel and after return. They should also practice personal and household steps to prevent mosquito, including putting mosquito repellant on their clothes and skin, wear long sleeves and pants, and sleep underneath mosquito nets at night, where possible.”