WHO says time for Europe to prepare Zika defenses

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[February 03, 2016]  GENEVA (Reuters) - European countries should start preparing now to protect their populations against the Zika virus, which has never been transmitted in Europe but could spread with the onset of spring and summer, the World Health Organization said on Wednesday.

"Now is the time for countries to prepare themselves to reduce the risk to their populations," WHO's Europe chief Zsuzsanna Jakab said in a statement. "Every European country in which Aedes mosquitos are present can be at risk for the spread of Zika virus disease.

"A number of travelers infected with Zika have entered Europe, but the disease has not been transmitted further, as the mosquito is still inactive. With the onset of spring and summer, the risk that Zika virus will spread increases."

(Reporting by Tom Miles; Editing by Dominic Evans)

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