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Zika virus mutating more rapidly in human body — Russian watchdog

June 03, 13:20 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The World Health Organization said the spread of Zika virus in the countries of South and North America poses a global public health emergency
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© AP Photo/Leo Correa, File

MOSCOW, June 3. /TASS/. The Zika virus in a human body is mutating more quickly than in environment and other living beings, Russia’s chief sanitary doctor who heads the country’s consumer rights watchdog Rospotrebnadzor Anna Popova said on Friday.

"The Zika virus mutates significantly more rapidly in a human organism than in an organism of its former ‘owners.’ There were primates and others," Popova told the All-Russian Congress of Nutritionists and Dieticians.

On February 1, the World Health Organization said the spread of Zika virus in the countries of South and North America poses a global public health emergency. The virus is transmitted by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes.

The outbreaks of the Zika virus have been registered in Asia, Africa, South and North America and the Pacific region. Experts forecast that the Zika-transmitting mosquitoes can reach the eastern and western coast of America in the coming months.

The virus causes high temperature, pink eye, headaches and malaise, joint pains, sometimes nausea and stomach pains and upset. Medical professionals note special concern for infected pregnant women, whose children risk developing brain-damaging microcephaly.

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