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Published on : Thursday, May 19, 2016
WHO’s European branch has issued a warning stating that Europe is being attacked by the deadly Zika virus and the risk is getting higher than before. Especially the island of Madeira in Portugal and the north-eastern coast of the Black Sea are the high-risk zones for the travellers. Apart from these, Italy, France, Israel, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Malta, Croatia, Monaco, San Marino, Slovenia, Georgia, Albania, Bosnia, Herzegovina, and Montenegro are the countries which possess a moderate risk of Zika. The authorities of the listed countries are asked to take extra measures to mitigate the threat of Aedes aegypti. Aedes normally stays active during mid-morning, late afternoon to dusk.
The Zika virus is a mosquito-borne virus, which was first detected in rhesus monkeys, near the Zika forest in Uganda. The Zika fever is not contagious; it only spreads through blood transfusion or mosquito bites. There are very few cases, where sexual transmission of the virus has been reported. The symptoms of the virus-attack are, four to seven days of fever, rash, joint pain and body ache, headache and in some cases, conjunctivitis.
Travellers who are visiting Europe soon, are suggested to take preventive measures. Women, who are already pregnant or are planning for a pregnancy, are advised by the National Travel Health Network and Centre, to postpone all the non-essential trips to Zika-active areas.
Travellers who are planning to visit the high-risk zones must consult a doctor at least four to six months prior to their date of travel. It is advised to avoid any trip, unless it is extremely important.