Cyprus Mail

Zika mosquitoes not found in Cyprus

The species of mosquito that acts as host for the tropical Zika virus have not been found in Cyprus according to public health service official Pambos Charilaou.

“A study carried out by the health services in 2013 on mosquito species present on the island did not find any of the species which act as hosts to the particular virus,” the official said on Tuesday.

He noted that such studies are constantly being made and also pointed out that the ministry has 130 employees who are working to spray mosquitoes, adding that municipalities conduct their own mosquito control.

In a statement, Charilaou also noted that in cooperation with the foreign ministry a travel advice will be issued containing guidelines for people intending to travel to affected countries.

The health ministry’s statement was issued after the Zika virus outbreak was declared an international public health emergency by the World Health Organisation on Monday.

This decision was made after an emergency meeting in Geneva to assess the outbreak after a link between Zika and a surge of babies born with abnormally small heads was noticed.

The rare move came after the organisation was criticised for not acting sooner on the Ebola outbreak. It signals the seriousness of the outbreak and is expected to trigger increased money and efforts to stop the outbreak, as well as prompting research into possible treatments and vaccines.

Until now no vaccine or anti-viral treatment has been developed.

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