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South African Health Authorities Confirm First Zika Case

Update Date: Feb 22, 2016 10:00 AM EST

Health officials in South Africa has recently confirmed its first case of Zika infection of man from Colombia. The virus has since become a public health emergency after a declaration by World Health Organization experts following a series of extraordinary surge of cases that affected much of Americas.

The man appeared to have manifested symptoms linked to Zika in his visit to Johannesburg.

"The businessman presented with fever and a rash approximately four days after arrival in South Africa but is now fully recovered," said Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi as quoted by Reuters.

According to a report by Sky News, the mosquito-borne disease was believed to have originated in Africa. Until 2007, there had only been 20 documented human cases. But in 2015, infection spread rapidly which affected around 1.5 million people in Brazil to date. Since then, cases have been reported elsewhere in the Americas and the Caribbean prompting governments to advise women to delay pregnancy as the virus is linked to a number of neurological birth defects such as microcephaly in babies.

Despite its first documented case of Zika infection, health authorities maintain that there's no indication that the country will have an outbreak similar to an ongoing health crisis in the Americas.

"The confirmation of this particular case poses no risk to the South African population as the virus is not transmitted from human to human but through the Aedes aegypti mosquito and or possibly from mother to the fetus in pregnant women," Motsoaledi said as reported by News 24.

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