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WHO confirms first cases of Zika virus in Africa

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has confirmed the importation of Zika virus strain from the Americas into Cape Verde in Africa even as a British report warned that drug resistance …

ZIKA• British report warns drug resistance ‘could kill 10 million people yearly’
• 69th World Health Assembly begins today in Geneva

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has confirmed the importation of Zika virus strain from the Americas into Cape Verde in Africa even as a British report warned that drug resistance could kill 10 million people yearly if nothing was done urgently to address the situation.

This is the first time that the Zika strain responsible for the outbreaks linked to neurological disorders and microcephaly has been detected in Africa.

The WHO yesterday in a statement said that sequencing of the virus in Cape Verde by Institut Pasteur, Dakar confirms that the Zika virus currently circulating in Cape Verde is the same as the one circulating in the Americas – the Asian type- and was most likely imported from Brazil.

WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, said: “The findings are of concern because it is further proof that the outbreak is spreading beyond South America and is on the doorstep of Africa. This information will help African countries to re-evaluate their level of risk and adapt and increase their levels of preparedness.”

Activated since February 2016, WHO Zika Virus Disease Incident Management System in Brazzaville and at headquarters will continue to review existing risk assessments, increase surveillance, and assess laboratory testing capacity and support community engagement and risk communications in priority countries.

As of May 8, 2016, there have been 7557 suspected cases of Zika in Cape Verde. Three cases of microcephaly have been reported from Cape Verde with one case reported by the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) after being delivered in the United States. So far, no case of Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) has been reported from Cabo Verde.

Meanwhile, it has been revealed that anti-microbial resistance could kill 10 million people every year by 2050 – or one person every three seconds – unless global action is taken to tackle the problem.

This is the conclusion of a final international review chaired by British economist Lord Jim O’Neill, which sets out 10 areas that need to be addressed to combat the threat of “superbugs.”

The new review sets out 10 strategies to tackle the global threat of antimicrobial resistance.

Anti-microbial resistance (AMR), or antibiotic resistance, occurs when microorganisms develop resistance to antimicrobial agents that once had the ability to kill them.

In 2014, the WHO released their first ever report on AMR, which provided much-needed insight into the global threat of drug-resistant infections.

Meanwhile, the 69th session of the World Health Assembly (WHA), the supreme decision-making body of WHO begins today in Geneva, Switzerland and to be attended by delegations from all WHO member- states.

Its main functions are to determine the policies of the organisation, supervise financial policies, and review and approve the proposed programme budget. The Health Assembly is held yearly in Geneva, Switzerland.

Source:The Guardian NigeriaThe Guardian Nigeria

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