8 November 2016

Nigeria: Why Zika Virus Spreads in Nigeria - NCDC

The Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has said that Zika Virus is spreading in Nigeria as a result of environmental conditions and other related issues.

The centre stated this in a report released to the media on Monday.

"The current epidemiology of Zika in Nigeria has not been well-documented or understood due to paucity of recent data", the report stated.

"The virus shares a similar vector; the Aedes (Steogmyia) mosquitoes, also responsible for other flavivirus infections recorded in Nigeria such as such as yellow fever.

"Consequently, environmental and human behavioural risk factors in areas with reported Zika outbreaks are similar to those found in Nigeria and would thus favour the circulation of Zika.

"Possible cross-reaction with other endemic flaviviruses like yellow fever and dengue; genetic host factors protecting against infection or disease; low vector competence and transmission efficiency; lack of diagnostic testing; and the absence of systematic surveillance are potential limitations to detect on-going transmission of Zika in Nigeria', the report added.

"In the light of above, NCDC plans to initiate surveillance to understand and monitor the epidemiology of Zika virus in Nigeria for the appropriate interventions."

The report also recommended that travellers should be informed of preventive measures before, during and after travelling to areas with Zika transmission.

Intending travellers should also be provided up-to date information of areas with ongoing Zika virus, it concluded.

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