Minister of Health Ahmed Emad El-Din Rady
CAIRO – 28 May 2017: No cases of the Zika virus have been detected in Egypt, the Ministry of Health and Population stated on Sunday, asserting that strict protective measures have been taken to prevent a virus epidemic in the country.
The ministry’s statement comes in response to the warning issued by the World Health Organization (WHO) that the virus is likely to spread in some Arab countries unless national governments apply the required health measures.
The ministry explained that it applies quarantine procedures to people travelling from affected countries to ensure that they are not carrying the virus.
The WHO’s alarm followed the diagnosis of three cases of the Zika virus in India, the latest nation to be affected by the mosquito-borne virus that sparked global concern in 2015.
Zika—which can cause babies to be born with microcephaly, or abnormally small heads—has affected dozens of countries around the world since it was first detected in 2015, although the WHO lifted its international health emergency status for the virus in November 2016.
The WHO said that the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that spread the Zika disease are found in seven Middle Eastern countries, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan and Djibouti.