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    The Aedes Aegypti mosquito is photographed in a lab at the Ministry of Health of El Salvador, in San Salvador

    Local Transmission of Zika Virus Detected in 52 Countries by March 2016

    Latin America
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    The cases of the local transmission of the mosquito-borne Zika disease were detected in 52 countries and territories by March 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in a statement Friday.

    GENEVA (Sputnik) — The current Zika outbreak started in Brazil in the spring of 2015. It has since spread across Latin America, with cases reported in several European countries and the United States.

    "Between 1 January 2007 and 3 March 2016, a total of 52 countries and territories have reported autochthonous (local) transmission or indication of transmission of Zika virus (41 since 1 January 2015)," the statement reads.

    It was added in the statement that the geography of the virus had widened significantly since it was detected in the Americas and it had already been detected in 31 countries and territories of the region.

    According to the statement, a number of countries, including France and Italy have already reported the cases of local transmission of Zika in the absence of mosquitoes that could transmit the disease.

    The Zika virus affects primarily monkeys and humans and is transmitted by daytime-active mosquitoes. Transmission through blood transfusions and sexual intercourse has also been reported. Pregnant women who contact the virus often give birth to babies with severe birth defects, characterized by microcephaly.


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