Zika in Europe this spring and summer?

Europe warned to “prepare now” for Zika mosquitoes
Europe must act now to prevent mosquitoes from being able to survive and spread the Zika virus in Europe as temperatures warm up in spring and summer, the World Health Organisation warns.
The virus could spread to every country in Europe if the Aedes mosquito starts to thrive. Mosquitos from Latin America may get trapped in baggage, or the virus could survive in the blood of travellers.
This type of mosquito is mostly absent from Europe, with the exception of the Portuguese island of Madeira where it caused a dengue fever epidemic in 2012 of more than 2,000 cases. The related Aedes albopictus mosquito is established in Italy, parts of southern France and eastern Spain.
Authorities are being advised to destroy mosquito breeding sites like standing water and spray insecticide.
Florida declared a health emergency yesterday in four counties, where at least nine cases of the illness have been detected. As reported, Zika has been linked to birth defects and has been declared an international health emergency.
“Every European country in which Aedes mosquitoes are present can be at risk for the spread of Zika virus disease,” said Zsuzsanna Jakab, director of WHO Europe. “A number of travellers infected with Zika have entered Europe, but the disease has not been transmitted further, as the mosquito is still inactive. With the onset of spring and summer, the risk that Zika virus will spread increases.”


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