12:49 GMT16 July 2020
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    Five people infected with the Zika virus have returned to mainland France.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Five people infected with the Zika virus have returned to mainland France since the beginning of the year, the country’s Ministry of Health informs.

    "None of the patients had a severe form of the infection," the ministry said in a Thursday statement, as quoted by La Parisienne, without specifying the regions in which these travellers stayed.

    The ministry stressed that there is no current risk of Zika spreading in France.

    The Zika virus affects primarily monkeys and humans and is transmitted by daytime-active mosquitos. It does not cause serious complications in adults, however, it can lead to babies being born with microcephaly, a type of brain defect.

    The World Health Organization (WHO) expects that the Zika virus will infect up to 4 million people, a senior WHO official said on Thursday.

    According to the French health ministry, since late December 2015, 45 Zika cases have been confirmed in French Guiana, one case in Guadeloupe and one case in St. Martin.

    French Minister of Social Affairs and Health Marisol Touraine strongly recommended on Thursday that pregnant women avoid making trips to French Guiana and other overseas territories, where cases of Zika virus have been identified.


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