Tanzania dismisses reported Zika virus outbreak

Dar es Salaam, Dec 17 (IANS) Tanzania health authorities on Friday allayed fears of the reported Zika virus detection saying the World Health Organisation (WHO) was yet to confirm the reports.

Xinhua news agency quoted Ummy Mwalimu, the Minister for Health, as saying that any outbreak of a disease with international concern had to be verified and announced by the global health agency.

The Zika virus, which was isolated from monkeys in Uganda about 70 years ago, has prompted worldwide concern after it began spreading very fast in the Americas early this year.

Zika viruses are believed to cause serious damage to a foetus such that babies are born with brain damage and head deformity.

“No Zika virus has been verified in the country so far. The Zika virus is an international reportable disease of which any discerned condition must be verified by the WHO in collaboration with the office of the Chief Government Medical Officer in the respective country,” she said.

–IANS

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