Foreign Office removes Zika virus warning for Jamaica

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A warning about the Zika virus spreading to Jamaica has been removed just days after it was issued.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office announced on Saturday that a case of the mosquito-borne virus had been confirmed on the island.

But last night the FCO removed the caution from its travel advice to Jamaica without explanation.

This came after the World Health Organisation warned a disease linked to Zika posed a global public health emergency requiring a united response.

The infection has been linked to cases of microcephaly, in which babies are born with underdeveloped brains.

The WHO alert puts Zika in the same category of concern as Ebola. It means research and aid will be fast-tracked to tackle the infection.

There have been around 4,000 reported cases of microcephaly in Brazil alone since October.

However, Brazil stressed that there was no chance of this summer’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro being cancelled due to the Zika outbreak.

“We have to explain to those coming to Brazil, the athletes, that there is zero risk if you are not a pregnant woman,” Reuters quoted president Dilma Rousseff’s chief of staff Jaques Wagner as saying.  

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