UN Health Agency confirms 3 cases of Zika Virus in Guinea Bissau

Zika virus has continued to “travel” around the world and it is not showing any signs of fatigue. Recently the United Nations Health Agency reported three cases of the Zika virus confirmed in a group of islands off the mainland in Guinea Bissau, West Africa.

Zika virus is a mosquito-borne flavivirus that is spread to people through mosquito bites. The major carrier of this virus is the Aedes mosquito. This virus outbreak has been recorded in Africa, Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands and the Americas.

According to World Health Organization (WHO) spokesman, Christian Lindmeier, three of twelve samples sent to a reference laboratory in Senegal showed Zika but links to the virus’ recent outbreak in the Americas and the western Pacific could not be determined. The WHO confirmed in May that the strain of Zika virus found in Cape Verde, a group of islands off Africa’s Atlantic coast, was the same one found in Brazil.

The UN health agency has been in contact with Guinea Bissau’s government, and has previously warned that any country where the Zika-carrying Aedes aegypti mosquito is prevalent could be at risk from the spread of Zika. 

The Guinea-Bissau’s government said it was establishing a committee headed by Prime Minister Baciro Dja that would impose a series of measures aimed at containing the disease. Let us hope the Nigerian ministry of health is watching closely.