More than two billion people are at risk of developing the Zika virus, scientists have warned. Data on air traveller numbers, analysed by scientists and published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases, found “vast numbers” of people are vulnerable.
People living in India, Indonesia and Nigeria are the most vulnerable to transmission, the research found. It is thought this risk is particularly heightened in summer as people are more likely to engage in travel, especially over long distances.
The number of people travelling to a population can affect likelihood of contracting the virus. Limited access to health resources in countries with high poverty rates and poor infrastructure is another factor, with the Philippines, Vietnam, Pakistan and Bangladesh being most affected by such conditions.
Around the world, more than 70 countries and territories now have continuing Zika transmission. The World Health Organisation has declared it to be a global health emergency. There is currently no known vaccine or drug treatment for it.