Sanità internazionale 22 Giugno 2016 16:57

Zika in Europe: bad news if you’re going to Spain, Italy or Greece

Southern Europe will become a ‘fertile ground’ for the virus Zika, Swedish researchers said. The research comes after a report by the World Health Organisation that warned there are already established populations of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes – which transmit the virus – thriving on island of Madeira and the Black Sea coast of Russia. To […]

Southern Europe will become a ‘fertile ground’ for the virus Zika, Swedish researchers said. The research comes after a report by the World Health Organisation that warned there are already established populations of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes – which transmit the virus – thriving on island of Madeira and the Black Sea coast of Russia. To create the maps, the Swedish researchers created a computer model to detect the risk of the spread of Zika throughout Europe. The model analyses the flows of airline travellers arriving in European cities from Zika-affected areas of the Americas, the data on the capability of populations of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes to reproduce and infect each month and the data on the population of people in areas where the virus could be transmitted. Italy, Greece, Spain, Turkey have a ‘moderate’ risk. France, Malta, Croatia, Israel, Monaco, San Marino, Switzerland, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovenia, Georgia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro have a slightly lower risk. Thirty-six countries have a low, very low or no likelihood risk, because of the absence of Aedes mosquitoes or a suitable climate for them to survive and breed, as in the UK. The spread is caused by warmer temperatures, recreating “ideal” conditions for mosquitoes reproduction and the influx of people travelling from areas of the America affected by Zika. There have been more than 400 imported Zika cases in Europe. The majority of those infected with Zika will have no symptoms, but for others it can cause a mild illness with symptoms including fever and headache. The virus can cause a birth defect, as well as a rare disorder called Guillain-Barre syndrome which can cause muscle weakness, problems with breathing and paralysis.

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