- The Ministry of Health calls for public education on the prevention of Zika Virus across the country
- There were reported cases of the virus in Togo in March
- The Zika virus has been declared a global public health emergency by the World Health Organization (WHO)
The Ministry of Health has instituted measures for public education on Zika virus and Lassa fever in the wake of confirmed case of the virus in Togo. In March, Togo recorded two Lassa fever cases in Oti district, with the public being asked to take preventive measures against the virus.
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Addressing a press conference in Accra, Alex Segebfia, the Minister for Health said the government of Benin and Togo, as well as development partners have have initiated response measures to contain the situation. He added that Ghana is putting in place measures to ensure that the Zika virus is prevented from getting into the country.
He said: "We request all regions, metropolitan, municipal, and district assemblies to mount public education on the prevention of Zika virus disease. The situation calls for the full support especially in the area of public education and we hope that we will once again give the necessary assistance to raise the required awareness and get people to practise the highest level of prevention and control measures."
Unlike the Lassa fever virus which is spread through rats, Zika virus is spread through the bite of an Aedes species of mosquito. Zika can also be transmitted from a pregnant woman to her baby during pregnancy or around the time of birth.
Some countries in Africa, the Americas, Asia and the Pacific, have already recorded cases of the Zika virus, which has been declared a global public health emergency by the World Health Organization (WHO).
The Zika virus is a mosquito-transmitted infection related to dengue, yellow fever and West Nile virus. It was discovered in the Zika forest in Uganda in 1947. However, it did not begin spreading widely until last May, when an outbreak occurred in Brazil.
There is no specific treatment or vaccine currently available. The best form of prevention is protection against mosquito bites.