Over two billion people at risk of Zika virus

    Over two billion people at risk of Zika virus

    April 21, NY: More than two billion people live in parts of the world where the Zika virus can spread, said a research published in the journal eLife show.
    The latest research showed mapping Zika was more complex than simply defining where the mosquito can survive.

    The Zika virus, which is spread by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, triggered a global health emergency this year.

    Last week the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed that the virus causes severe birth defects.

    One of the researchers, Dr Oliver Brady from the University of Oxford, said that these are the first maps to come out that really use the data we have for Zika - earlier maps were based on Zika being like dengue or chikungunya, BBC reported.

    By learning where Zika could thrive the researchers could then predict where else may be affected. The researchers confirmed that large areas of South America, the focus of the current outbreak, are susceptible.

    In total, 2.2 billion people live in areas defined as being "at risk".

    The infection is suspected of leading to thousands of babies being born with underdeveloped brains.

    The at-risk zones in South America include long stretches of coastline as well as cities along the Amazon river and its tributaries snaking through the continent.

    And in the US, Florida and Texas could sustain the infection when temperatures rise in summer, according to reports.

    Both Africa and Asia have large areas that could be susceptible to the virus, the researchers said.

    The Oslo Times


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