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Millions at risk from Zika in Asia, Africa


Rapid surge in cases in Singapore sends warning signal
Some 2.6 billion people across Asia and Africa could be at risk from Zika, a new study warns. And besides playing a role in the spread of the virus, travel and tourism are also likely to fall victim to the scare.
Cases in Singapore have gone from zero to 258 in just one week. Bangkok has confirmed that two pregnant women have the virus and around 100 Zika cases have been reported in Thailand since the start of 2016.
A Malaysian woman who recently visited Singapore has also been diagnosed, and cases have been found in the Pacific islands of Micronesia. Other countries in Asia such as Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Indonesia and the Philippines are at risk.
The World Health Organization said in May that it was concerned the latest strain of Zika was “on the doorstep of Africa”.
The virus is linked to microcephaly in unborn babies and other disorders. Many of the cases in Singapore are thought to have been transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito.


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