Zika Virus May Spread to Europe in Coming Months, WHO Warns

AA2E8CD8-2934-4E56-8B26-7E83F2550058_w640_r1_s_cx0_cy6_cw0[VOA NEWS / LONDON} — The Zika virus, an infectious disease linked to severe birth defects in babies, may spread into Europe as the weather gets warmer, although the risk is low, health officials said on Wednesday.

In its first assessment of the threat Zika poses to the region, the World Health Organization’s European office said the overall risk was 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.

“There is a risk of spread of Zika virus disease in the European Region and … this risk varies from country to country, said Zsuzsanna Jakab, the WHO’s regional director for Europe.

“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 WHO’s European region covers 53 countries and a population of nearly 900 million. It stretches 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. READ MORE OF THIS STORY

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About Cholo Brooks 15575 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.