Zika virus disease and risks for Western countries

2016-06-10
Mark Loeb

Does Zika virus disease pose a threat to the Western countries?

Mark Loeb: It is not a big threat in terms of Zika virus spreading at this point in time. It is unlikely that it would happen because of the vector, the mosquito vector, but travelers can be infected. People who travel to the Caribbean or to Central or South America, where the virus is spreading, are at risk of having infection and are at risk of bringing the infection back to their country of origin. The problem is that we know that men can spread the virus to women through sexual intercourse, and so that poses a risk to women who might want to become pregnant and to pregnant women. So it is a very important public health problem.

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