Zika virus likely to affect Asia, says WHO

10:07 AM | 11 Oct, 2016
Zika virus likely to affect Asia, says WHO
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LAHORE (Web Desk) - The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that the Zika Virus can spread across Asia in near future owing to burgeoning Zika cases.

Scores of Zika cases have already surfaced in Singapore whereas Thailand also registered two Zika related cases. The mosquito-borne virus has been detected in 70 countries worldwide, at least 19 in the Asia Pacific region.

WHO director Margaret Chan said experts were still looking for ways to deal with the virus.

"Unfortunately, scientists do not yet have answers to many critical questions," she said.

Related: Zika virus vaccine to be tested on humans

Zika generally has mild effects but is more dangerous for expecting women as it has been linked to severe birth defects, including the brain deformation microcephaly. The virus has existed in Asia for decades, but the latest large-scale outbreak originated in Brazil.

According to a health expert the most common symptoms of Zika virus diseases are fever, rashes, joint pains and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for a week to several days. There is no vaccine to prevent or medicine to treat Zika.

Moreover, Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN) has warned that mosquitoes carrying Zika virus have also been found in Pakistan.

A member of GOARN said, “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.”