Startling! India among countries at greatest risk of Zika virus transmission: Experts

As per a story published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases has warned that India is a fertile ground for a potential Zika epidemic.

Updated: Sep 02, 2016, 14:48 PM IST

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: Medical experts have more bad news to share after the report of 13 Indians being infected with Zika virus in Singapore.

As per a story published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases has warned that India is a fertile ground for a potential Zika epidemic.

A combination of factors -- high travel volumes from Zika affected areas in the Americas, local presence of mosquitos capable of transmitting Zika virus, suitable climatic conditions, large populations and/or limited health resources -- put India and few other countries in Africa and Asia pacific at greatest risk of Zika virus transmission, the researchers found.

"An estimated 2.6 billion people live in areas of Africa and Asia-Pacific where the local mosquito species and suitable climatic conditions mean that local Zika virus transmission is theoretically possible," said study author Kamran Khan from St Michael's Hospital, Toronto, Canada.

"Warmer temperatures in the northern hemisphere (when mosquitos are more active) increase the risk of new outbreaks appearing outside of the Americas," Khan added.

Of the countries with the largest at risk populations, the authors suggested that India, the Philippines, Indonesia, Nigeria, Vietnam, Pakistan, and Bangladesh might be most vulnerable to impact because of their limited per capita health resources.

(With IANS inputs)