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Cape Verde downplays US travel alert over Zika Virus

Cape Verde downplays US travel alert over Zika Virus


Cape Verde’s Ministry of Health has refuted a US travel alert to the country over the outbreak of the Zika Virus.

The country’s ministry said the alert was overblown adding that the number of cases of the virus in the west African island had declined.

World Health Organisation (WHO) has also warned the virus is likely to spread across all of America.

Representative of Cape Verde’s National Directorate of Health, Jorge Barreto said US warning did not constitute a travel ban but was intended to persuade women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant to take precautions.

He said there must have been a misunderstanding in the interpretation of the recommendation issued by the CDC.

“We have seen a decrease in terms of notification of Zika cases. Last week we recorded 126 cases and the week before there were 212 cases.”

Cape Verde’s government said the virus was imported into the country from Brazil.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on Friday extended its travel warning to eight countries including Cape Verde, bringing the total number of countries to 22.

The infection, which causes symptoms including mild fever, conjunctivitis and headache, has already been found in 21 countries in the Caribbean, North and South America.

Women in Colombia, Ecuador and El Salvador have been advised by their country’s Health Ministries to postpone pregnancy as a result of the sharp increase in babies born with brain defects.

Zika is a mosquito-borne virus spreading through the Caribbean and Latin America. Only about 20 percent of infected cases display symptoms, which are usually mild and include fever, joint pain and conjunctivitis.