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Monday, May 23, 2016

Zika virus knocking at Nigeria’s door –Tomori

Nigerian virologist and Head, World Health Organisation Advisory Panel on Yellow Fever,Professor OyewaleTomori,has said that the discovery of a strain of Zika virus in the Cape Verde, a country near Nigeria, means it knocking on the door of the most populated nation in Africa, ITRealms reports.

Reacting to the finding of Zikavirus in Cape Verde, Prof. Tomori, who is the President of the Nigeria Academy of Science, cautioned Nigeria to see Zika virus as a serious issue nearby.

“This tells us that the Zika outbreak is not only a problem of South America, but one that is knocking on the gates of West Africa,” he said, advised that Nigeria “must resuscitate our moribund and comatose national disease surveillance system and in particular, our mosquito-borne virus disease surveillance system at the Department of Virology, University of Ibadan and the National Arbovirus Research Institute at Enugu.”

Tomori also advised that Nigeria heightens risk awareness to pregnant women and promote protection steps to avoid mosquito bites as well as sexual transmission.

He lamented that with Zika arriving at the gates of West Africa, and Yellow fever raging on in Angola and DR Congo, Nigeria may likely resort to her one and only defence against disease outbreaks “organize vigils and worship in mosques, to plead with God, who loves Nigeria so much, not to let either of the diseases enter Nigeria. We are the same Nigerians, some of whom will travel to Angola and DR Congo, with fake yellow fever vaccination cards.”

Okoli Vincent/GEE
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