Zika poses no threat to Turkey, says minister

Zika poses no threat to Turkey, says minister

Zika poses no threat to Turkey, says minister

AA photo

No cases of Zika virus has yet been recorded in Turkey, the country’s health minister has said, while also announcing the number of people who died from H1N1 virus leading to a form of influenza publicly dubbed as “swine flu” as 57 over the last three months. 

“Zika virus yet poses neither risk nor threat in Turkey,” the state-run Anadolu Agency quoted Health Minister Mehmet Müezzinoğlu as saying at a meeting in Ankara regarding Turkey’s health vision and future projections on Jan. 28. There is currently no vaccine or cure for the virus, which has spread to 21 countries and territories in the Americas, according to the Pan American Health Organization.

Making remarks on the number of deaths from the influenza known in Turkey as “swine flu,” Müezzinoğlu said at least 57 people had died from H1N1 in Turkey over the last three months.

“We have collected a total of 480 samples from patients, 280 of which were cases of H1N1,” he added.

The minister said the transmission of the virus in November and early December last year was slow. 

“The virus peaked in late December and early January, but the peak season of the flu is over,” Müezzinoğlu said.     

According to authorities’ categorization, the flu season lasts from October to April. The minister said the government had taken all necessary measures to deal with the situation and that there was no need to panic. 

“Hand hygiene is vital for preventing the virus from spreading. Healthy nutrition as well as drinking more water is also important,” the minister said.        

Swine flu was first reported in Turkey in 2009. The flu killed over 30 people in the country in 2014-2015 flu season.        

Zika originated in Latin America, the mosquito-borne virus causes symptoms in roughly one in five adults, including fever, rash and conjunctivitis.