MJ_left.jpg MJ_right.jpg VW_left.gif VW_right.gif africanpost-left.gif africanpost-right.gif gucci_left.gif gucci_right.gif ss-left.gif ss-right.gif watch_left.gif watch_right.gif
MJ_left.jpg MJ_right.jpg VW_left.gif VW_right.gif africanpost-left.gif africanpost-right.gif gucci_left.gif gucci_right.gif ss-left.gif ss-right.gif watch_left.gif watch_right.gif

Sidebar

A female Aedes aegypti mosquito. (Image/CDC/WHO)

Florzinha Amado is eight months pregnant and trying to stay calm about whether the Zika virus infection she contracted at 21 weeks could have harmed her unborn child.

A female Aedes aegypti mosquito. (Image/CDC/WHO)
A female Aedes aegypti mosquito. (Image/CDC/WHO)

A female Aedes aegypti mosquito. (Image/CDC/WHO)

Florzinha Amado is eight months pregnant and trying to stay calm about whether the Zika virus infection she contracted at 21 weeks could have harmed her unborn child.

But Amado isn't Brazilian. She lives on the volcanic archipelago of Cape Verde, 570 km (350 miles) west of Senegal, and is one of 100 pregnant women in the capital of Praia who have contracted Zika there.

Their fears, and those of West African authorities seeking to prepare the region's defenses, are shared by global health experts who say it could have unknown consequences in countries ill-equipped for another public health emergency following the Ebola epidemic.

Zika, a mosquito-borne virus, was first identified by two Scots, virologist George Dick and entomologist Alexander Haddow, in a forest near Entebbe in Uganda in 1947.

The disease itself is mild and 80 percent of those infected do not feel ill, but it has shot to the top of the global health agenda after an outbreak in Brazil was suspected of causing a spike in birth defects.

And now, nearly 70 years after its discovery in mainland Africa, it is threatening to return to its roots - this time apparently in a changed form causing large-scale outbreaks.

"Cape Verde has historical links with Brazil and it seems very likely it has got there from Brazil," said Nick Beeching of Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, a Zika expert for the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases.

According to new data from Cape Verde's health ministry, more than 7,000 cases of Zika have been recorded in the country since the beginning of the epidemic in October 2015, with heavier than normal rains last summer boosting mosquito numbers.

Beeching believes it is highly probable Zika will soon be back on the African mainland, thanks to regular flight connections from the Atlantic islands, potentially triggering a new chain of transmission.

Regional health officials told Reuters they were most worried about Zika being exported to Senegal or Guinea Bissau, which shares the same Portuguese heritage as Cape Verde.

Florzinha Amado is eight months pregnant and trying to stay calm about whether the Zika virus infection she contracted at 21 weeks could have harmed her unborn child.

But Amado isn't Brazilian. She lives on the volcanic archipelago of Cape Verde, 570 km (350 miles) west of Senegal, and is one of 100 pregnant women in the capital of Praia who have contracted Zika there.

Their fears, and those of West African authorities seeking to prepare the region's defenses, are shared by global health experts who say it could have unknown consequences in countries ill-equipped for another public health emergency following the Ebola epidemic.

Zika, a mosquito-borne virus, was first identified by two Scots, virologist George Dick and entomologist Alexander Haddow, in a forest near Entebbe in Uganda in 1947.

The disease itself is mild and 80 percent of those infected do not feel ill, but it has shot to the top of the global health agenda after an outbreak in Brazil was suspected of causing a spike in birth defects.

And now, nearly 70 years after its discovery in mainland Africa, it is threatening to return to its roots - this time apparently in a changed form causing large-scale outbreaks.

"Cape Verde has historical links with Brazil and it seems very likely it has got there from Brazil," said Nick Beeching of Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, a Zika expert for the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases.

According to new data from Cape Verde's health ministry, more than 7,000 cases of Zika have been recorded in the country since the beginning of the epidemic in October 2015, with heavier than normal rains last summer boosting mosquito numbers.

Beeching believes it is highly probable Zika will soon be back on the African mainland, thanks to regular flight connections from the Atlantic islands, potentially triggering a new chain of transmission.

Regional health officials told Reuters they were most worried about Zika being exported to Senegal or Guinea Bissau, which shares the same Portuguese heritage as Cape Verde.

Source: Reuters -  By Julio Rodrigues and Ben Hirschler

 

 

 

  • Video
  • Latest News
  • Spotlight
  • Opinion
  • Telling the African Story: Komla Dumor.
  • Africa Straight Up - Official Film.
  • Ethiopian Ancient Architecture and its History.
  • Aliens Visit to Ethiopia Sacred Places.
  • My Love & Pride - The Other Side of Africa.