Language quotas for Ukraine’s TV will only fuel tensions — media groupSociety & Culture May 24, 8:49
Syrian troops repel militant attack west of Palmyra — mediaWorld May 24, 8:08
Russian 'soldier of the future' combat gear tested in SyriaMilitary & Defense May 24, 6:41
London police say investigation into Manchester blast ‘fast-moving’World May 24, 5:21
Investigators release Gogol-Center artistic director after questioningSociety & Culture May 24, 2:32
London may be among contenders for 2018 FIDE chess world championshipSport May 24, 2:29
Putin meets with visiting Philippine leaderRussian Politics & Diplomacy May 24, 0:15
Mechanism of alerting on cyberattacks practically never used by US — spokespersonWorld May 23, 22:19
Putin praises work of Independent Public Anti-Doping CommissionSport May 23, 20:38
GENEVA, May 23. /TASS/. The Zika virus poses no real threat for Russia at the moment, a Russian academician said on Monday noting however that the situation could change amid global warming as a result of which mosquitoes that carry the virus could spread.
"At the moment, I believe that thanks God Russia sees no real and even small-scope threat," the general director of the N.F. Gamaleya Epidemiology and Microbiology Research Institute, Aleksandr Gintsburg, said.
"We have more topical from my point of view problems - tuberculosis, AIDS and hepatitis, which are way more serious [than Zika]," the academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences said.
So far, the Zika virus is not an endemic infection for Russia, he explained. Besides, "at the present moment, an efficient fight against the Zika virus consists first of all in efforts aimed at destruction of mosquitoes carrying it," he said.
"In Russia this work is done very well," he went on. "In the 19th century, Caucasus was a site of exiles, while now it is a resort, owing to very intensive dewatering job done in due time, starting from [governor] Prince Mikhail Vorontsov (1782-1856). Mosquitoes stopped propagating and this had a major effect on the anti-epidemiological situation of that region," he said.
However, the situation with Zika could change amid global warming in which mosquitoes could spread. "We must monitor whether the climate is changing or not," the scientist said.
Scientists from different countries, including from the US and Brazil, believe the Zika virus could be dangerous for pregnant women, causing severe birth defects with microcephaly the gravest among them.
The Zika virus was first isolated in 1947 in the Zika Forest of Uganda. Last May, when the virus started rapidly spreading in Brazil and then spread to other countries of South and North America, it became a topic for wider discussion.
At the moment, outbreaks have been registered in Asia, Africa, in South and North America and in the Pacific region.
Medical professionals note special concern for infected pregnant women, whose children risk developing brain-damaging microcephaly.
Russia’s federal consumer rights watchdog Rospotrebnadzor confirmed last week the third case of the Zika virus in the country.