Zika virus outbreak possible in Vanuatu, says WHOPosted: January 25, 2016
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.
Zika virus was first reported in Vanuatu in April 2015, but has not been observed since.
More information on Zika virus:
- Zika virus Factsheet — World Health Organisation
- Zika Virus — US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Zika virus — Wikipedia entry
- ‘The alarming threat of Zika virus’ — BBC