The Health Department is warning that the numbers of infections could increase and urges people to wash their hands
South Africa Covid-19 cases have quadrupled since Tuesday, with Omicron fueling the surge
South Africa has warned of a “severe and disastrous” Zika outbreak that could spread to the rest of the world, after the number of reported cases quadrupled in the space of a week.
The country has become infected with the disease due to global travel, but the case rate was previously low.
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It has been reported that a number of recent cases are due to mosquitoes biting people during a visit to South Africa’s northeastern KwaZulu-Natal province.
Zika can be transmitted through bites from an infected mosquito, a process that can take three days to take place.
South Africa Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi is warning that the number of cases could potentially go up, while the government urged residents to wash their hands and avoid mosquito bites.
The Associated Press reported that the number of reported cases has quadrupled in the past week, and across the region 13 states have reported at least four cases each.
The country has reported some 2,100 Zika cases, with 83 infections confirmed by laboratories since the beginning of the year. Authorities in the province of KwaZulu-Natal said they had recorded 65 reported cases and were aware of 21 infected individuals.
On Thursday nine South African health officials, from a department which operates under limited resources, attempted to turn away an international delegation to discuss Zika.
South Africa is sending an epidemiology team, including experts, on a week-long field tour. Its deputy minister, Dr Ziyambi Ziyambi, said “our best efforts to tackle this epidemic was seen as insufficient by the World Health Organisation.
“We are working on various fronts to control the outbreak in KwaZulu-Natal and we will continue to monitor the situation closely.”