Written question – Zika virus – P-000928/2016

The Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Margaret Chan, recently announced that the level of alarm regarding the spread of the Zika virus was extremely high.

What concerns the WHO the most is the rapid development of the situation and the spread of the virus, which, in some countries, particularly Brazil, has been associated with an increase in the number of births of children with small skulls. In addition, there has been a reported increase in Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela and El Salvador of cases of Zika-related Guillain-Barré syndrome, which affects the nerves and causes muscle paralysis.

As regards Europe, the Zika virus has already been found in Denmark, Great Britain, Spain, the Netherlands, Italy and Portugal. Altogether, around 20 people have been affected, all having arrived from South America.

What recommendations does the Commission intend to adopt in order to reduce the risk of the virus spreading in Europe?