The Zika virus strain that caused the break out of the Zika virus in Brazil has been reported in Africa for the first time, a World Health Organization report says.
The WHO has said that it is in its concerns that the virus is on the increase in the African continent.
Some of the areas that are reported to have the virus in circulation are Cape Verde, North West Coast of Africa.
Zika is blamed for the neurological disorders including the way children are born having small brains.
Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, said: “This information will help African countries to re-evaluate their level of risk and adapt and increase their levels of preparedness.”
Protection from the virus
She said that pregnant women should be informed about the complications associated with Zika virus and people should be encouraged to be protected from mosquito bites as well as sexual transmission.
However, she does not recommend the imposition of strict restrictions in an aim to put a halt on the disease spread.
There have been more than 7,000 suspected cases of Zika in Cape Verde, with 180 pregnant women thought to have been infected. The WHO says three babies have been born brain damaged with microcephaly.
A UK researcher has said that the virus has been circulating at low levels in a number of African countries for over 50 years now. That basically means that some populations may be immune by now.
“It is likely that the South American, Caribbean and Polynesian populations had no prior immunity to the virus, so a high proportion of people who are bitten by infected mosquitoes caught the disease,” said Dr Anna Checkley, of the Hospital for Tropical Diseases, University College London Hospitals.