Zika virus outbreak possible in Vanuatu, says WHO

Electron microscope image of the Zika Virus

Electron microscope image of Zika Virus. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

3 August 2016: There is no Zika virus reported in Vanuatu at the present time. Several cases have however been reported in Fiji. Zika is mainly of concern to pregnant women, due to the possibility of neonatal defects, and Vanuatu’s Dept of Health remains vigilant.

The World Health Organisation in Vanuatu is warning of the possibility of an outbreak of the mosquito-borne Zika virus. There were some cases here two years ago, Dr Jacob Kool of the WHO reminded readers of The Independent.

Mild fever, rashes, red eyes and conjunctivitis, muscular pain and headaches are symptoms. They are similar to the symptoms of dengue, and are spread by the same type of mosquito (Aedes aegypti).

However, the disease has broken out in South America and babies born of mothers suffering from it can suffer from microcephaly, or abnormally small head size.

Any dengue-type symptoms should be reported to clinical services.

Aedes aegypti mosquito

Aedes aegypti mosquito. Photo: Muhammad Mahdi Karim

Zika virus was first reported in Vanuatu in April 2015, but has not been observed since.

 

More information on Zika virus:


2 Comments on “Zika virus outbreak possible in Vanuatu, says WHO”

  1. Sioom Jerome says:

    wanaem nao yumi save wokem blong preventem?

    Like

    • dailyvanuatu says:

      Here’s some tips, from the US Centers for Disease Control:

      No vaccine exists to prevent Zika virus disease (Zika).
      Prevent Zika by avoiding mosquito bites (see below).
      Mosquitoes that spread Zika virus bite mostly during the daytime.
      Mosquitoes that spread Zika virus also spread dengue and chikungunya viruses.
      When traveling to countries where Zika virus or other viruses spread by mosquitoes are found, take the following steps:

      Use insect repellents
      When used as directed, insect repellents are safe and effective for everyone, including pregnant and nursing women.
      Most insect repellents can be used on children. Do not use products containing oil of lemon eucalyptus in children under the age of three years.
      Repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, and some oil of lemon eucalyptus and para-menthane-diol products provide long lasting protection.
      If you use both sunscreen and insect repellent, apply the sunscreen first and then the repellent.
      Do not spray insect repellent on the skin under your clothing.
      Treat clothing with permethrin or purchase permethrin-treated clothing.
      Always follow the label instructions when using insect repellent or sunscreen.
      When weather permits, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
      Use air conditioning or window/door screens to keep mosquitoes outside. If you are not able to protect yourself from mosquitoes inside your home or hotel, sleep under a mosquito bed net.
      Help reduce the number of mosquitoes inside and outside your home or hotel room by emptying standing water from containers such as flowerpots or buckets.

      Sick with Chikungunya, Dengue, or Zika? Protect yourself and others from mosquito bites during the first week of illness.


      If you have Zika, protect others from getting sick

      During the first week of infection, Zika virus can be found in the blood and passed from an infected person to another mosquito through mosquito bites. An infected mosquito can then spread the virus to other people.
      To help prevent others from getting sick, avoid mosquito bites during the first week of illness.

      Like