Conference abstract

Preventive measures against Zika airborne infection

Pan African Medical Journal - Conference Proceedings. 2017:4(16).15 Dec 2017.
doi: 10.11604/pamj-cp.2017.4.16.445

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Keywords: Zika, airborne infection, prevention

Preventive measures against Zika airborne infection

Amel Souissi1,&, Hanène Djemaiel1, Imed Ben Dhia1, Riadh Allani1, Nabil Guermazi1

1Medical Services Directorate, Ministry of Defense, Tunisia

&Corresponding author
Amel Souissi, Medical Services Directorate, Ministry of Defense, Tunisia


Introduction: the Zika virus disease is a current public health problem; this virus is present in 21 of 55 countries in the Americas (Brazil has 1.5 million people affected). Zika finally cross borders and cases were reported in European countries, in Tunisia let’s say that we are still not immunized against the disease: firstly; because our country has a large expatriate community in Europe and is connected on a daily base by flights with most European cities, On the other hand; in our army, there is a real problem since many of our military personnel have regularly missions in contaminated countries, as there are direct flights (C130) to countries in the Americas. The value of our work is to insist on preventive measures to be taken in aeronautics in order to limit the risk of contamination and especially spread of virus from one country to another.

Methods: considering that Zika virus infection is usually well tolerated, often asymptomatic, it may also cause a similar syndrome of other arboviruses with fever, rash, headache and joint and self-limiting pain. However, it can cause microcephaly in the fetus of affected pregnant woman and probably increases the risk of Guillain-Barré syndrome. There is currently no vaccine or specific treatment of the Zika virus disease. Prevention remains the medium of choice for the management of the outbreak of Zika virus. Indeed, in our work we kept being inspired by the International Health Regulations which require from member countries to collaborate seriously to fight against the spread of infection by this virus.

Results: the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends a strategic approach of measures to fight against the virus in the air transport, especially in airports and on airplanes. These measures are mainly based on the reduction of populations of Aedes mosquitoes that transmit the virus at airports (vector control) and the use of insecticides in aircraft (planes disinfestations). At the end of our work, inspired by IHR (2005), we provide practical and appropriate prevention procedures for the Tunisian air army.

Conclusion: considered as emerging, Zika virus is responsible for several international epidemics. The fight against its spread is based primarily on the implementation of the WHO standard recommendations, in accordance with the International Health Regulations (2005).