Zika virus is transmitted to people through the bite of an infected mosquito Aedes aegypti mosquito (Usually bite during the morning and late afternoon/evening hours)
• Skin rashes
• Muscle and joint pain
• Malaise and
The symptoms are usually mild and last for 2-7 days
Prevention and control relies on reducing mosquitoes through source reduction (removal and modification of breeding sites) and reducing contact between mosquitoes and people
Zika virus is usually relatively mild and requires no specific treatment. People sick with Zika virus should get plenty of rest, drink enough fluids, and treat pain and fever with common medicine. If symptoms worsen, they should seek medical care and advice. There is currently no vaccine available.
STATUS AND RISK OF ZIKA VIRUS IN THE SADC REGION
A Colombian man was the first imported and first recorded case of the mosquito-borne Zika virus to South Africa’s. The businessman was found to have the disease during a visit to Johannesburg. Other than this reported imported case NO case of Zika virus has been reported in the region. Emerging and re-emerging infections usually arise from resource-limited countries and since the infrastructure for diagnostics is to well established, the Zika virus could spread rapidly across the globe to parts of the SADC region which has vulnerable population where are: places within the tropical belt and beyond namely sub-Saharan Africa (which include SADC region), Southeast Asia, Southern parts of the United States and Southern Europe.
Health Authorities have dispelled public fears regarding the spread of the Zika virus to Botswana. This comes after authorities in South Africa confirmed that a Colombian businessman has tested positive for the virus. The Ministry of Health in conjunction with WHO county office is on guard in monitoring all entry points in the country for any transmission threats. The WHO has not yet put in place travelling restrictions to affected countries, but rather encourage all those travelling to take preventive measures
The SADC Secretariat in consultation with the Chairperson of Council will:
i) Work with partners to strengthen capacity in risk communication to held member states meet their commitments under the International Health Regulations (IHR) such as enhancing surveillance of the Zika virus and disorders that could be linked to it, improve vector control, effectively communicate risks, guidance and protection measures;
ii) Facilitate the development of response guidelines on Joint Operations Control measures in accordance to WHO Standards;
iii) Coordinate regional effort through the existing Elimination 8 (E8) Cross Border Imitative for Malaria Elimination