Zambia on Zika virus alert

LUSAKA, Feb. 4 (INP): The Zambian government said on Thursday that it had taken seriously the global alert by the World Health Organization (WHO) on the reported cases of the Zika virus in some parts of South America and is putting in place measures to ensure that the disease does not cross into the country.

WHO has declared Zika, which is carried by mosquitoes and has been linked to thousands of babies being born with underdeveloped brains, a global public health emergency.

Deputy Minister of Health Chitalu Chilufya said the ministry has strengthened the countrywide indoor residual spraying to eliminate the mosquitoes, which are carriers of the Zika virus, according to state broadcaster, the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation.

The ministry will also strengthen the surveillance system countrywide to raise the index of suspicion among health workers in the country, he added.

The official however said the country has currently no evidence of active Zika virus, adding that the ministry will concentrate on measures to ensure that the disease does not cross into the country.  

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