No cases of infections from the Zika virus has been reported in Cameroon, the representative of the World Health Organisation, Dr. Jean Baptiste Roungou announced during a meeting with Health professional to raise awareness on the disease. The Yaounde meeting presided over by the Minister of Public Health Andre Mama Fouda was an occasion to present Cameroon’s riposte strategy and emmergency measures in the situation where a case is suspected. Public Health Minister Andre Mama Fouda noted that although the virus is not yet in the country preventive and response mechanisms have already been put in place. He said all major ports of entry into the country were under surveillance. The National Emergency response Center has been upgraded to measure the scale of the disease and has been equipped to handle any suspected cases while the Center Pasteur Medical Laboratory has been set to carry out diagnosis on any suspected cases.
Health experts explained that unlike the female anophelex mosquito that spreads malaria, the Aedes Aeygpti mosquito that is a vector of the Zika virus is very dangerous as it attacks during the day and at night. The Aedes mosquito species also spreads chikungunia, yellow fever and dengue fever and is widespread in Africa, Asia and parts of Central and South Africa where several cases have been reported. Professonals however the say the virus does not generally kill and treatment is symptomatic. The professionals from the Ministry of Public Health and the World Health Organisation, WHO, recommended preventive measures especially to pregnant women who are the most vulnerable group.
Dr. Omer Pasi, Country Director for the Centre for Disease Control hinted that it was not yet clear if the virus was responsible for the a rise in microcephaly which is the deformation of the featus leading to babies with enlarged heads. However, wearing long clothing that covers the enitire body, placing nets around windows and doors to reduce the mosquito population and sleeping under treated mosquito nets are essential preventive tips. In this regard, WHO officails saluted Cameroon's initiative to distribute long lasting insecticide treated mosquito bed nets.