By: Dayo Fasasi
The Nigerian Government has put all 36 states, including the Federal Capital Territory, on alert over the declaration of Zika virus as an international public health emergency by the World Health Organization (WHO).
In a telephone interview with newsmen the Director General of the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Prof. Abdulsalam Nasidi, said that the red alert was to enable effective monitoring of the mosquito transmitting the deadly virus.
The Nigerian government, who just battled the deadly Ebola virus, is now making all of its citizens more aware of the Zika virus.
Zika virus, also known as ZIKV, is usually transmitted by the daytime-active Aedes mosquitoes and is a member of the Flaviviridae virus family. This disease causes fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is usually mild, with symptoms lasting from several days to a week according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
ZIKV was first noticed in the thick Zika forest of Uganda in 1947, which brings about the name.
In the 1950s the deadly virus was known to occur within a narrow equatorial belt from Africa to Asia.
Recent news report have drawn attention to the spread of the virus into Latin America and the Caribbean.
The Zika Virus has spread to 27 countries in total prompting the WHO to declare an international public health emergency.