Zika virus may spread into Europe this summer as the weather gets warmer, health officials have warned., says a report in The Independent. It is said in the report that the World Health Organisation has said the overall risk is small to moderate. It is highest in areas where Aedes mosquitoes thrive, in particular on the island of Madeira and the north-eastern coast of the Black Sea.
According to WHO’s regional director for Europe Zsuzsanna Jakab, “There is a risk of spread of Zika virus disease in the European Region and … this risk varies from country to country. We call particularly on countries at higher risk to strengthen their national capacities and prioritize the activities that will prevent a large Zika outbreak,” the report said.
The WHO’s European region covers 53 countries and a population of nearly 900 million, stretching from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Mediterranean Sea in the south and from the Atlantic in the west to the Pacific in the east.
The Zika virus has been linked to thousands of cases of a birth defect known as microcephaly in babies of women who become infected with Zika while pregnant. It first sparked alarm when discovered in Brazil.