Zika virus spreading worldwide
The Zika virus that is believed to cause brain damage in infants is spreading worldwide after its outbreak in Brazil. WHO says it is likely to spread across the Americas, and the first cases have also been detected in Europe.
06 February 201619:01 GMT
At least 3,100 pregnant women have the Zika virus, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said on Saturday. On the whole, there are 25,645 people infected with the disease in Colombia, he announced during a TV broadcast with health officials. No cases of Zika-linked microcephaly have been recorded so far, he said.
04 February 201616:22 GMT
Indian scientists from Bharat Biotech International say they have developed two vaccines for the Zika virus, which will now move to clinical trials. If the trials are successful, around one million doses of the vaccine could potentially be available in four months, the company's managing director, Krishna Ella, told NDTV.
- 16:15 GMT
A pregnant woman is among seven people found to be infected with the Zika virus in Spain. The woman – who is in her third trimester of pregnancy – had traveled to Colombia and was presumably infected during her visit, according to the Spanish Health Ministry. No details were released about her condition, or the condition of her child. She remains under medical supervision in Catalonia. The six other infected parties had also traveled to affected countries.
03 February 201621:06 GMT
The first travel-related Zika virus case has been confirmed in the US state of Georgia, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health. The infected had traveled to Colombia between the end of December and the January 1 and has already recovered. Some more tests of people who traveled to Zika-affected areas are currently underway.
“It is extremely important that individuals who have traveled to countries where there are ongoing Zika virus outbreaks keep guard against additional mosquito bites,” said Cherie Drenzek, D.V.M, state epidemiologist for DPH, local media reports.
“During the first week or so of infection, Zika virus can be passed from an infected person to another mosquito through mosquito bites. An infected mosquito can then transmit the virus to other people,” Drenzek added.
- 17:47 GMT
The World Health Organization (WHO) has expressed concern over US reports of a case of sexual transmission of the Zika virus.
"We certainly understand the concern. This needs to be further investigated to understand the conditions and how often or likely sexual transmission is, and whether or not other body fluids are implicated," WHO spokesman Gregory Hartl told Reuters.
"This is only the second mooted case of sexual transmission," he added.
- 16:58 GMT
The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned Europe that it should take measures to prevent the spread of the Zika virus, which is more likely to happen in spring and summer when mosquitos are active.
The UN agency recommended that European countries control the mosquito population and inform people, especially pregnant women, about the risks. In a statement, it advised the enhancement of laboratory detection of Zika, a stepping up of research into the virus, and the development of diagnostic tests and vaccines.
The WHO said there is no need for travel or trade restrictions.
02 February 201621:00 GMT
The Australian state health service has confirmed two Zika cases which are the first ones in the country this year, Reuters reported. Both of the infected had recently returned home from trips to the Caribbean.
Officials also said that mosquitoes carrying the virus were detected at Sydney International Airport but pointed out that the spread of Zika is unlikely to happen because of the lack of large numbers of the Aedes Aegypti mosquitos.
- 20:42 GMT
The first Zika case has been confirmed in Dallas County, Texas, a local affiliate of NBC television network reports. The virus has been transmitted through sexual contact according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Local health officials say there are no reports of Zika transmissions by mosquitoes in the area but still there is a threat of the virus spreading due to people coming from affected areas.
- 20:05 GMT
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said that the government is not going to be thrifty with its resources in mobilizing the country to fight the rapidly spreading Zika virus.
"There will be no lack of funding," Rousseff said in an address to a joint session of Brazil's Congress as cited by Reuters.
She also added that Brazil and the US will cooperate to create a vaccine against the virus.
- 19:50 GMT
The first Zika case has been confirmed in Chile, local broadcaster 24 Horas reported citing the Chilean association of infectious diseases. The infected man is said to have traveled to Colombia which is one of the most Zika-affected countries.