Risk of Zika virus spreading in Europe

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Photo: WHO

The risk that the Zika virus will spread in Europe will increase with the onset of spring and summer across the continent, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said.

The mosquito-borne virus, which in itself is relatively harmless, has been linked to a cluster of neurological and physical abnormalities in babies in Central and South America.

Dianne Penn has more details

The UN health agency confirmed that a number of travellers infected with Zika have entered Europe, but the disease has not been transmitted further, as the mosquito is still inactive.

But that could change with warmer weather in spring and summer.

WHO is urging countries to control the spread of mosquitoes through insecticide spraying.

It is also supporting information campaigns to inform people at risk, especially pregnant women, about preventing mosquito bites.

The agency is not recommending Zika-related travel or trade restrictions.

But it said , national governments may “as a precautionary measure” issue travel bans after assessing the available evidence and local risk factors.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 46″