Zika Virus is transmitted through mosquitoes in South America and Central America, The Caribbean and Mexico, and it is causing major health problems for pregnant women.
Nigeria’s minister of health Isaac Adewole said the travel restriction, especially on pregnant women, will be on until the situation improves worldwide.
An emergency committee from the World Health Organization will meet February 1 to discuss the global threat from Zika, which it says could infect as many as 4 million people in the Americas this year, based on models from the spread of dengue. For that reason women who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant should avoid travel to affected countries if at all possible.
But the state Department of Public Health said, “While the association is compelling, it is not known if the increase in microcephaly cases is directly caused by Zika virus infections”.
Genetically modified mosquitoes that will help fight the Zika virus are getting urgent attention from American regulators.
On Friday, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff vowed to “win the war” against the virus, but some experts criticized her government’s response and warned the Olympics could fuel the disease’s spread.
Only 31 travelers have returned to the US with Zika virus infections since it was first detected in Brazil in May 2015. The outbreak in Brazil led to reports of Guillain-Barre syndrome and pregnant women giving birth to babies with birth defects and poor pregnancy outcomes. Health officials are fighting back with pesticides and warnings for people to remove standing water and to cover up.
In the event of a strong outbreak of the disease in Argentina, the specialist said the northeastern provinces would face the greatest risk due to their proximity to countries where the largest number of cases have been reported and because their high temperatures would allow an infected mosquito to live longer.
Child Neurologist Vanessa Van Der Linden observes the X-ray of a baby’s skull with microcephaly at the hospital Barao de Lucena in Recife, Brazil, January 26, 2016.
The mosquito-borne illness may cause birth defects.
It said men should wear condoms for 28 days after “return from a Zika transmission area” if they experience no symptoms of unexplained fever and rash. Companies and scientists are racing to develop a safe and effective vaccine for Zika, but one is not expected to be ready for months or years.