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SA Zika virus case: 'There's no need for panic'

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi says there’s is no imminent threat of a Zika virus outbreak in SA.

A worker of the Salvadorean Ministry of Health fumigates a house in Soyapango as part of a campaign of fumigation to reduce the presence of the mosquito that transmits the Zika virus. Picture: EPA/Oscar Rivera.
Zika virus,Aaron Motsoaledi,Health Department,Zika virus in SA
World Local

JOHANNESBURG - Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi says it’s not necessary to isolate a businessman who presented South Africa’s first case of the Zika virus, as the disease isn’t spread by human contact.

The Colombian man was confirmed to have contracted the virus a few days after his arrival in South Africa.

The Health Department says his blood samples have been delivered to the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) for further testing.

Motsoaledi says there is no need for the public to panic as there is no imminent threat of an outbreak.

“For that Columbian businessman to spread Zika in South Africa, he would have been bitten by a mosquito called Aedes aegypti and then that mosquito would bite another South African and it would start spreading. Now at the present moment in South Africa, we don’t have that species.”

WATCH: Inside the Zika virus



The department's spokesperson Joe Maila says the patient presented himself with a rash and a fever after arriving in the country, but has since recovered.

“The person is fully recovered. All we’re doing is to make sure that indeed we check whether it was the Zika virus, because that’s what the NICD must conserve with the laboratory that has done the test.”

The mosquito-borne virus has caused much concern with an increasing number of infections being reported in Brazil and in other parts of the Americas.

LISTEN: Explained: The origins of the Zika virus



(Edited by Shimoney Regter)

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