The Zika virus became known worldwide in 2015 and 2016, when it led to an epidemic in South America. At that time, it also came to light that an infection during pregnancy can lead to malformation of the skull in fetuses and newborns and other complications such as premature birth or miscarriage.
In principle, transmission within Europe is also possible, since mosquitoes such as the Asian tiger mosquito, a likely vector, have also become native to Europe. Mosquitoes are also monitored for the Zika virus via our Gelsen monitoring. However, the risk is currently still very low.
An important vector of the Zika virus is the yellow fever mosquito(Aedes aegypti). This mosquito species has been established in Cyprus since the previous year, and further spread to other European countries cannot be ruled out as a result of climate change.