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Video: Ulster Unionist MLA Jo-Anne Dobson calls for 'urgent clarity' on Zika virus in Northern Ireland


Upper Bann MLA, Jo-Anne Dobson calls for ‘urgent clarity’ from the Health Minister after reports of up to five people from Northern Ireland have been treated locally for the Zika virus.

Jo-Anne Dobson said: "This news is an extremely worrying development and the fact that this virus has been linked to thousands of babies being born with underdeveloped brains will be disturbing for local people.

"I am concerned that despite being in the Assembly chamber answering questions on Tuesday, and having the opportunity to update the public on this development, the Health Minister Michelle O'Neill chose silence over providing clarity.

"I would urge the minister to inform at-risk groups about the risks and how to protect themselves.”

Health Minister, Michelle O’Neill has made no comment so far, however a Department of Health spokesperson said: “Given the geographical spread of the Zika virus it is not unexpected that some travellers from here have come in contact with the virus and arrangements are in place to respond.

“As lead body for public health, the PHA has operational responsibility in this matter. The latest travel advice is available on the PHA’s website through the following link: http://www.publichealth.hscni.net

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