NATION

Usamate: Zika Screening Airport Challenge

Getting instant results during Zika virus screenings at the two international airports is difficult, says the Minister for Health and Medical Services, Jone Usamate. Zika virus is a mild febrile
18 Feb 2016 08:29
Usamate: Zika Screening Airport Challenge
Minister for Health and MedicalServices Jone Usamate

Getting instant results during Zika virus screenings at the two international airports is difficult, says the Minister for Health and Medical Services, Jone Usamate.

Zika virus is a mild febrile viral illness which is transmitted by mosquitoes and is related to dengue and yellow fever.

Mr Usamate said the blood sample taken from people at airports during screenings would take a week to verify.

“It will be difficult to identify the Zika virus suspect in the first screening because 75 per cent symptoms at times are not known,” he said.

“But, we are working with our staff on the ground. Central sites have been established around the country to deal with screening,” he said.

There are currently four suspected follow up Zika virus cases in Fiji.

Mr Usamate, in Parliament last week, revealed that there were two cases of imported Zika virus reported in Fiji last year. This, he said, were from two infected travellers.

 

97 dengue fever cases recorded

The Ministry, meanwhile, has recorded 97 confirmed cases of dengue fever so far this year.

The Ministry’s media liaison officer Evlyn Mani said that out of this, 65 per cent was from the Macuata Province in the Northern Division, 30 per cent from the West and five per cent in the Central.

Ms Mani said these dengue cases were from January 1 until last Friday.

About 800 dengue fever cases were recorded in Fiji last year.



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