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Zika is a global health threat which must be stopped, says Matthias Groote

Date

13 Apr 2016

Sections

Global Europe
Health & Consumers

Since the outbreak of the Zika virus in different regions across the world, the EU Early Warning and Response System for medical emergencies has been activated and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control is continuously monitoring the situation, and producing risk assessments and epidemiological updates.
 
So far, only the outermost regions of the EU (at some distance from the European continent) have been affected and there is a very low risk of contagion in Europe. However, the European Parliament today passed a resolution asking for increased measures to prevent the spread of the virus during the warmer months, when millions of Europeans travel to potentially affected areas and the risk of infection in Europe's mosquito population is higher.

S&D spokesperson on health and environment, Matthias Groote MEP, said:
 
“Zika is a global health threat which must be stopped. We have to step up efforts to research the virus and its suspected effects, and work on tests for rapid diagnosis, treatments and vaccines.
 
“Prevention must be promoted by way of mosquito control and contraception, and we must also be prepared for an outbreak in mainland Europe.
 
“Experts agree that a causal relationship between Zika infection during pregnancy and microcephaly is strongly suspected, though not yet scientifically proven.
 
“The disease affects mainly women and babies, the vast majority living in some of the least developed regions. This is highlighting the problem of access to reproductive health, as well as wider issues around women's and girls' rights in many countries.”

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