GENEVA, 18th May, 2016 (WAM)–The World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Office for Europe, has said the Zika virus could spread to Europe during late spring and summer, but the risk level is low to moderate.

It added the risk varies across the WHO European Region but is higher in countries where Aedes mosquitoes are present.

A total of 36 European countries has a low, very low or zero likelihood of Zika virus transmission, according to the report. Eighteen countries have a moderate likelihood, owing to the presence of Aedes albopictus, a secondary Zika vector, and limited geographical areas such as the island of Madeira and the northeastern coast of the Black Sea have a high likelihood of local Zika virus transmission, due to the presence of Aedes aegypti, the primary Zika vector.

Overall, the results show that across the WHO European Region the risk is low to moderate during late spring and summer.

WHO will convene a regional consultation in June to examine the conclusions of the risk assessment and identify countries’ needs in order to prevent and respond to the virus.