WHO: Only Canada, Chile Will Escape Zika Virus

US, rest of the Americas won't be spared
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 25, 2016 1:40 PM CST
Zika Virus Will Spread Across Much of the Americas: WHO
Female Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are kept in a container at the Biomedical Sciences Institute in the Sao Paulo's University, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Monday, Jan. 18, 2016.   (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

The mosquito-borne Zika virus, believed to be causing a dangerous neurological condition in babies born to mothers who were infected with the virus while pregnant, will likely spread to almost every country in the Americas, WHO warns in a new statement. "Aedes mosquitoes—the main vector for Zika transmission—are present in all the region's countries except Canada and continental Chile," the statement reads. It goes on to explain that many people in South, Central, and North America haven't been exposed to the virus before and thus don't have immunity, so the virus is spreading quickly, CNN reports.

Since Brazil reported its first local cases in May, 21 countries and territories in the Americas have seen cases of Zika, and the CDC is recommending that pregnant women avoid traveling to Bolivia, Brazil, Cape Verde, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Saint Martin, Suriname, Samoa, Venezuela, and Puerto Rico. Three British travelers to Colombia, Suriname, and Guyana have recently been infected with the virus, and a baby born in Hawaii has brain damage related to the virus. (More Zika virus stories.)

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