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Zika Virus Infection in Cape Verder (Update)

22 Dec 2015

On 21 October 2015, the National IHR Focal Point of Cape Verde informed WHO of the outbreak of Zika virus infection in the country; by 14 October 2015, a total of 165 cases had been recorded.

Further suspected cases have continued to be reported. Between late September and 6 December 2015, a total of 4744 suspected cases were identified. The majority (81%) of suspected cases (3835) are reported from the municipality of Praia. Suspected cases have also been reported from several municipalities on Santiago Island (Praia, Santa Catarina, Santa Cruz, São Domingos and Tarrafal) and the islands of Maio, Fogo and Boa Vista.

Advice for Travellers

Avoidance of mosquito bites, particularly during daylight hours, is recommended. Due to the possible link between Zika virus infection and birth defects, pregnant women are urged to be particularly vigilant in preventing mosquito bites.

Bite avoidance measures include: covering up with clothing, the use of insect repellent and bed nets impregnated with insecticide. Reduction of mosquito breeding sites around hotel rooms/homes is advised for longer term stays.