Zim safe from Zika virus: Parirenyatwa

Dr Parirenyatwa

Dr Parirenyatwa

Herald Reporter
Zimbabwe is safe from mosquito-borne Zika Virus, in spite of a case that was confirmed in South Africa recently, Minister of Health and Child Care Dr David Parirenyatwa has said.

There is huge human traffic to and from South Africa, and many people were concerned when South African health officials confirmed on Saturday that a Columbian businessman, who had visited Johannesburg had tested positive for the Zika virus.

In an interview Minister Parirenyatwa, however, said Zimbabwe was still safe.

“For now we are reasonably safe. We only need to be cautious of international travels. If someone is coming from South America, for instance, we will be very alert.

“Our health professionals are very alert and such alertness will protect us from the virus,” he said.

Minister Parirenyatwa said people should minimise travelling to countries where the virus was prevalent.

South African authorities said the Columbian businessman’s status was detected when he went to see his doctor because of fever and rash, on his fourth day in South Africa.

South African Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi, said the businessman in question was now fully recovered.

The man was diagnosed with Zika by a private Johannesburg pathology laboratory.

Minister Motsoaledi said South Africa National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) was now busy conducting confirmatory tests.

The virus is causing international alarm after spreading quickly in South and Central America and the Caribbean, with Brazil being the worst affected country.

The World Health Organisation declared an international health emergency on February 1 over the virus, citing concern over a possible link with a rise in cases of microcephaly, a birth defect characterised by an abnormally small head that can result in developmental problems.

Most infected people have fever and skin rashes.

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  • Chaipa

    Safe? What a load of unscientific claptrap! Insects are known to sneak into cargo and luggage from all origins and final destinations. Although sexually transmitted Zika virus is still considered rare, nothing stops someone already infected from being bitten by a mosquito in another country which transfers it elsewhere.