World Health Organization (WHO) has stated that there is no danger of Zika virus in Pakistan. Federal Health Ministry and WHO have issued a joint statement allaying fears of the virus’ spread in the country.

“Health authorities in Pakistan are very much aware of the current global health security debate around the Zika virus and are carefully monitoring any implication for Pakistan. At this stage, there is no case of Zika fever in Pakistan and the risk for such outbreak is non-significant,” they said in a joint statement issued here today.

“We are neither recommending any restrictions on travel or international trade, nor imposing any sort of screening measures for checking incoming travelers at airport of Pakistan,” the press release said adding that the Ministry of Health and the WHO were monitoring the situation following reports of Zika virus cases in Latin America.

Given the proximity between Zika and Dengue viruses, collective and individual prevention measures for both viruses were identical. Any effective action against dengue is an equally effective action against Zika. “Pregnant women have the same risk as the rest of the population of being infected with Zika virus.

“The Ministry of Health is ensuring optimal level of preparedness in accordance with Pakistani obligation towards the International Health Regulations. The ministry and the WHO reaffirm the importance of adequately interpreting the globally reported information on ZIKV in the national context to avoid creating anxiety and concern among the people of Pakistan. It is important to settle on evidence-based information and not generalize concepts which have yet to be scientifically validated,” the press release concluded.

"The transmission from the mother to her child during pregnancy or at the time of delivery remains unproved. The reason why the Zika virus has received global attention is for its alleged, yet unproven, association with severe birth defect from infected pregnant women, and with an impairing neurological disorder called Guillain-Barre Syndromes,” it said.

Zika virus (ZIKV) is a member of the Flaviviridae virus family and the Flavivirus genus, transmitted by daytime-active Aedes mosquitoes, such as A. aegypti.

The virus causes a mild illness known as Zika fever, Zika, or Zika disease in humans. Since the 1950s the virus has been known to occur within a narrow equatorial belt from Africa to Asia.

In 2014, the virus spread eastward across the Pacific Ocean to French Polynesia, then to Easter Island and in 2015 to Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, and South America, where the Zika outbreak has reached pandemic levels.

Brazil along with fellow South American countries Venezuela and Colombia have been battling a catastrophic surge in the virus’ spread in recent weeks.