PORT MORESBY (POST COURIER) – The Health Department in Papua New Guinea says there is no Zika virus outbreak though there were confirmed cases of Zika virus.
Health Secretary Pascoe Kase said that there were results of several Zika-positive cases from multiple sites dating back to May last year, all of whom recovered with no complications.
However, there were only dengue outbreak at certain locations in the country, Kase said.
“The ultimate conclusion is that Zika has been present in PNG since at least May 2015 but has never been diagnosed before because it is generally a mild illness and because of its similarity to other diseases such as malaria and dengue but there is no outbreak in PNG like other countries in the world,” Kase said.
He said that there is no vaccination for dengue and Zika virus in the world therefore Papua New Guinea does not have either.
The secretary advised that it was likely that the increase in mosquito-borne diseases circulating in multiple locations in PNG was due to an increase in the number of mosquitoes brought on by recent rains rather than any new disease being brought into the country.
Kase warned the people to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.
“Apply a reliable brand of personal mosquito repellent, wear light-colored clothes which covered exposed parts of the body, use window screens were possible and sleep under mosquito nets particularly when sleeping during daylight hours,” he said.
The aedes mosquitoes could also be minimized if people put efforts to clean around their homes and emptying, discarding or covering containers that could hold water, Kase said.