The much-dreaded Zika virus is continuosly spreading in the Asia-Pacific region, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned last Monday.
During the WHO Annual Meeting held in Manila, Philippines, organization representatives stated that the virus is "highly likely to further spread in the region," mostly in countries such as China, Japan, Australia, Thailand, Cambodia, Phillippines and other countries in the Asia-Pacific region.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP) also issued a travel notice, saying that pregnant women should stay away from 11 Southeast Asian countries whose cases of the virus continue to increase.
In Singapore, 400 cases of Zika have been reported, while Vietnam, Philippines, and Malaysia have 20 each. Two Thai babies were reported to have developed microcephaly, but no deaths occurred, the Bangkok Post has reported.
WHO's Margaret Chan said in the interview that leaders of different Southeast Asian countries have been alarmed over the outbreak and that they are coordinating with different health organizations of the matter. She added that medical experts are struggling to eradicate the virus.
Zika symptoms are only mild: fever, rashes, and sore eyes, but pregnant women affected by the virus risk the chance of having their babies develop microcephaly - an abnormality that exhibits itself through smaller heads and underdeveloped brains. Doctos also added that the virus may affect the immune system of babies through attacks against theor peripheral nervous system.
Scientists have discovered Zika way back in 1947. However, research has yet to confirm if the virus has been infected to other countries, changes in the tropical weather, large population of mosquitos is a certain area or the international travel hubs. Out of 27 countries, 19 nineteen countries has been reported to have a Zika cases since 2007. Currently, WHO added 13 countries being monitored of the virus.