The deadly Zika virus could spread to the central Anatolian region of Turkey in seven years, Turkish Health Ministry has stated in a recent report.
The Health Risks Early Warning Department of the ministry issued the report after detecting four infected people in Turkey last October, daily Milliyet reported on Jan. 9.
According to the report, the Zika virus is spreading across the Black Sea province of Artvin and the Crimean peninsula. The “Aedes” mosquito, which is capable of carrying the Zika virus, is responsible for spreading the disease across this area.
The report said the Zika virus was first detected in 1947 in Zika forest in Uganda.
“Aedes Albopictus mosquitos have reached western Thrace and Istanbul in western Turkey and Black Sea’s Giresun in the east. The disease could reach Central Anatolia in five to seven years,” the report said.
The report said four patients infected with Zika visited Cuba, adding that the disease produced symptoms such as pain, fever, trembling and swelling of the lymph glands.
“New Zika virus cases are likely to be detected. However, the virus-infecting mosquito is currently restricted to certain regions of the country and this has limited the spread of the disease. Even so, the increasing number of international travelers, together with the possibility of preventive measures not being enforced at the right time, could cause serious problems in the future,” the report said.
The virus, which is especially effective in the countries of South America, poses a great risk to the whole world. According to some experts, a total of 2.2 billion people risk getting the Zika virus.
On July 16, 2016, a Canadian university announced that it would conduct the world’s first Zika vaccine test on humans as health authorities scramble to counter the rapidly spreading virus.
The Zika vaccine currently under development will be administered to humans “in the coming days,” Laval University, which is based in Québec City, said in a statement.
However, cases of the virus among Americans dropped from 5,102 in 2016 to 385 in 2017, according to U.S. officials.
On December 2017, the Missouri health department said it would stop testing most pregnant women who have traveled to Zika-affected areas.
Clinical trials of a Zika vaccine at St. Louis University will not move into a second phase of testing.
Meanwhile, Turkey entered “risk category four,” according to a recent classification report jointly issued by World Health Organization, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control.