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Is It The End Of Zika? Virus Quietly Spreads To Southwest Africa As Angola Reports Two New Cases

Update Date: Jan 17, 2017 08:56 AM EST
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More than a year has passed and the dreaded Zika virus still lingers, but will it end soon? The virus has quietly spread to Southwest Africa with two new cases reported in Angola.

In the United States, however, it has been one year since the first case of the mosquito-borne Zika virus has been reported in the mainland. The patient's case was reported on Jan. 15, 2016 when he got infected in another country and traveled to Miami-Dade County. Now, there had been more than 1,200 cases statewide wherein 256 were locally-transmitted.

Though the cases decreased steadily over the past year, University of Florida public health forecasters said it's doubtful that Zika is done, the Sun Sentinel reports.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), as of Jan. 5, the global risk assessment has not changed and the virus continues to spread geographically to areas where competent vectors are present. The health agency added that despite reports of the decline in cases were reported, vigilance needs to remain high.

Zika Virus Quietly Spreads To Southwest Africa

After the continent suffered the fatal Ebola virus years ago, Zika virus has posed threat to the area with two new cases reported in Angola.

The country is, in fact, still recovering from bouts of both cholera and yellow fever epidemic that has killed hundreds. Now, two new cases have been reported in the country.

The two new cases may not be cause for concern, but the country needs to prepare in case a widespread Zika outbreak might emerge.

"Up until two months ago, we didn't have any detected case, but, now, we have two cases of Zika," José Luis Gomes Sambo, Health Minister, said as reported by IOL.

"We have to take preventable measures, especially in the anti-vectorial fight against the mosquitoes," he added.

One case was a French citizen who was traveling while the other one is a 14-year-old teenager from Luanda, Angola. The WHO and the Angolan government is working together to monitor the patients and investigate other possible cases of the infection.

West African countries and health agencies are now more alert after the continent suffered the Ebola outbreak in 2014. Luanda, meanwhile, is a ripe breeding ground for disease outbreaks because of its dense population and poor infrastructures.

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