Zika virus mosquitoes found in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: A leading member of the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN) has warned that mosquitoes carrying the Zika virus have been found in Pakistan.

“Keeping in view the presence of Zika mosquitoes in the country, the health sector is on high alert and has been urged to devise a strategy for its possible appearance and spread in the country,” Dr Muhammad Najeeb Durrani of GOARN said.

Outbreaks of Zika have been reported in tropical Africa, Southeast Asia, the Pacific Island and, most recently, the Americas.

As the mosquitoes that spread Zika virus are found throughout the world, including Pakistan, it is likely that outbreaks will continue to spread.

Although the virus has zero mortality rates, it poses a serious threat to pregnant women as the virus directly affects babies before they are born as they are subject to severe birth defects.

The virus, transmitted by the bite of the Aedes aegypti the same vector for dengue fever. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared the mosquito-borne virus an international public health emergency due to its link to thousands of birth defects in Brazil, as the UN agency seeks to build a global response to the threat.



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