Sri Lanka to screen travelers from Latin America, Africa for Zika virus

January 29, 2016 7:50 am 

COLOMBO, Jan. 28 — Sri Lanka on Thursday said that it would begin screening passengers arriving from Latin America and Africa at the country's international airport to prevent the Zika virus from entering the island.

Government Spokesperson and Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne told reporters that the screening facilities set up by the Health Ministry at the Bandaranaike International airport will monitor the visitors to the country to observe whether they are showing symptoms of Zika.

The Zika virus is a mosquito borne infection that has spread to 22 countries and territories in the Americas and poses particular danger to pregnant women, health experts have warned.

Health experts have also warned that international air travel will help the virus spread quickly.

Zika, linked to shrinking brains of children, has caused panic in brazil with thousands of people having been infected there.

The virus is expected to spread to the United States and every country in the Western hemisphere where Aedes mosquitoes, which spread the virus, are known to live, according to the Pan American Health Organization. Aedes mosquitoes live in every Western hemisphere country except Canada and Chile.(PNA/Xinhua)



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