In a update from a previous report of Zika virus infection on the island country of Cape Verde, the World Health Organization (WHO) now reports the situation as of Dec. 6:
Between the end of September and 6 December, 4,744 suspected cases of Zika virus infection have been reported. Suspected cases were reported from several municipalities on Santiago Island (Praia, Santa Catarina, Santa Cruz, São Domingos and Tarrafal) as well as others islands, including Maio, Fogo and Boa Vista. The municipality of Praia reported 81% of the cases (3,845). So far, no neurological complications have been reported.
UN health officials offer the following advice:
The proximity of mosquito vector breeding sites to human habitation is a significant risk factor for Zika virus infection. Prevention and control relies on reducing the breeding of mosquitoes through source reduction (removal and modification of breeding sites) and reducing contact between mosquitoes and people. This can be achieved by reducing the number of natural and artificial water-filled habitats that support mosquito larvae, reducing the adult mosquito populations around at-risk communities and by using barriers such as repellents, insect screens, closed doors and windows, and long clothing. Since the Aedes mosquitoes (the primary vector for transmission) are day-biting mosquitoes, it is recommended that those who sleep during the daytime, particularly young children, the sick or elderly, should use insecticide-treated mosquito nets to provide protection. Mosquito coils or other insecticide vaporizers may also reduce the likelihood of being bitten.
During outbreaks, space spraying of insecticides may be carried out periodically to kill flying mosquitoes. Suitable insecticides may also be used as larvicides to treat relatively large water containers.
Basic precautions for protection from mosquito bites should be taken by people traveling to high risk areas, especially pregnant women. These include use of repellents, wearing light colored, long sleeved shirts and pants and ensuring rooms are fitted with screens to prevent mosquitoes from entering.
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