UN health chiefs confirm three Zika virus cases in Guinea Bissau

UN health chiefs confirm three Zika virus cases in Guinea Bissau

Three cases of the Zika virus have been confirmed in Guinea Bissau.

The UN health agency said it and national authorities are investigating whether the virus involved is the same strain as the one behind outbreaks linked to head and brain abnormalities in Brazil and elsewhere.

Three of 12 samples sent to a reference laboratory in Senegal showed Zika but could not determine any link to the virus's recent outbreak in the Americas and the western Pacific, World Health Organisation spokesman Christian Lindmeier said.

The agency has been in contact with Guinea Bissau's government, and has previously warned that any country where the Zika-carrying Aedes aegypti mosquito is prevalent could be at risk from the spread of Zika.

The WHO reported that the latest Zika strain was found in Cape Verde, a group of islands off Africa's Atlantic coast and a former Portuguese colony like Guinea Bissau and Brazil.

Sixty-one countries and territories have reported continuing mosquito-borne transmission of the virus, the WHO said in its latest situation report on Zika published on Thursday.

The Geneva-based agency has called the latest outbreak a "public health emergency of international concern".


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