Zika in Poland: Poland confirms first cases of Zika

20:04 Aug. 17, 2016

Poland confirms first cases of Zika

Test tubes with blood samples are analyzed to rule out cases with the Zika virus (Getty Images)

Country's sanitary authorities say Poland at low risk due to environmental and climatic conditions

Tests carried out at a laboratory at the University of Warsaw confirmed that two people who returned to Poland from the Dominican Republic and Colombia were infected with Zika virus, Radio Poland reported on Wednesday.

"As far as we know, these are the first cases of infection by the Zika virus in Poland," said Dr Renata Welc-Falęciak from the department of biology at the University of Warsaw.

Poland's Chief Sanitary Inspectorate sought to assuage fears, saying this country does not have the "environmental and climatic conditions which could cause the spread of the disease."

Read also  U.S. officials warn Zika 'scarier' than initially thought

The Inspectorate added the risk of infection for people living in Poland "is associated with tourist trips to geographic regions where there is a prevalence of mosquitoes carrying the Zika virus."

A major Zika outbreak was detected last year in Brazil, where it has been linked to more than 1,700 cases of the birth defect microcephaly. Since then the virus has spread to many countries in the Americas.

Watch also World to face severe Zika crisis - WHO

Some competitors have withdrawn from the Olympic Games underway in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, citing concerns over Zika, which is spread by a certain type of mosquitoes.

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