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As of 23 September the number of Zika cases confirmed in Ireland had risen to 14 “imported, unrelated adult cases”, this newspaper reported earlier this month.
“There appears to be no connection between the Olympic and Paralympic Games and the cases of Zika Virus Disease notified in Ireland,” a Department of Health spokesperson told MI.
“While the largest number of cases connected to any one country is three from Brazil, the 14 cases are spread over nine different American and Caribbean countries.
“The numbers appear to reflect the relative numbers of people travelling between Ireland and the affected countries rather than any individual event.”
The Irish response to Zika is being co-ordinated at a national level by the Health Threats Co-ordination Group, which is scheduled to next meet on 30 November.
Last month the World Health Organisation’s (WHO’s) Emergency Committee on Zika “congratulated Brazil on their successful application of appropriate public health measures during the Olympic Games”. It noted “that there have been no reports of confirmed cases of Zika virus among people who attended the Games, both during the Games and since their return.
“The lack of cases supports the conclusions of the risk assessment regarding the Olympic Games made during the third EC meeting.”
The Zika virus outbreak and its associated congenital and other neurological disorders continues to be a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC), as declared by the WHO.