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First Zika cases in Europe

For the first time, people in Europe have been infected with the Zika virus. Researchers had been expecting the virus to spread for some time.

Probably for the first time in Europe, two people have been infected with Zika viruses. In the southern French Département Var there were two infected people who could not have contracted the virus while travelling, French media reported on Wednesday, citing official information. Both had meanwhile recovered. They are now investigating whether there have been other cases.

According to the European health authority ECDC, both infections occurred in August at short intervals in the port city of Hyères. To the knowledge of the authority, this is the first documented transmission of the Zika virus in Europe by Asian tiger mosquitoes (Aedes albopictus) living here.

With the falling temperatures at the beginning of autumn, the conditions for the mosquitoes deteriorated and further transmissions became less likely for the time being, it was said. The risk for the population, including pregnant women and their unborn children, is estimated to be low. It is also unlikely that travellers will become infected in the area and bring the virus back to their home country.

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