The World Health Organization declared Turkey among the risky countries for the Zika virus.

According to Reuters’ news, WHO announced that Aedes mosquitoes can spread the virus in 18 countries if precautions are not taken.

These 18 countries are ranked as follows, from highest risk to lowest:

France, Italy, Malta, Croatia, Israel, Spain, Monaco, San Marino, Turkey, Greece, Switzerland, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovenia, Georgia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro.

As can be seen, Turkey seems to be the 4th country at risk among the big countries.

Zika Might Be the Worst Human Exposure to Virus

Research has revealed that Zika virus-related dengue virus antibodies attack the immune system and increase the reproductive ability of Zika virus.

Confronting the rapidly advancing diseases across Latin America may leave people even more vulnerable to the Zika virus. According to the studies of two independent laboratories, aedes aegypti Zika, which is transmitted by type mosquitoes, and its relative dengue fever virus work together. Antibodies produced by the body against the dengue virus then attack the immune system that responds to Zika when Zika is infected, increasing the virus’s ability to reproduce. This may help explain why the complications of infection by the Zika virus are more severe in South and Central America than in places with previous outbreaks.

In parts of Brazil, up to 90 percent of people carry antibodies to dengue. The four types of dengue virus have an unusual relationship with the immune system. Antibodies that develop after one type of infection do not protect against another type of infection. Instead, the antibodies actually help the second virus, which easily replicates itself by attacking certain immune system cells, making the infection worse.

This phenomenon is called antibody-induced enhancement (ADE), and it also explains the tendency for cases to be more severe when patients develop type II dengue—including the very dangerous condition called dengue hemorrhagic fever.

Scientists suspected that the Zika virus, which was so close to dengue that it clouded the results of diagnostic tests looking for antibodies, could also cause ADE. This is also why Zika causes symptoms that are exponentially more severe, including birth defects in babies suddenly infected in the womb in Brazil and elsewhere, and a temporary paralysis called Guillain-Barré Syndrome.

The first support for this theory was in April. bioRxiv It came from an article published in . Sharon Isern and Scott Michael of Gulf Coast University and colleagues have found that in their study of both lab-made dengue antibodies and blood serum from dengue patients, the Zika virus dramatically increased self-replication in cells in the lab.

Nature Immunology In the article published in , an independent research group from Imperial College London reported the results of their study in which they examined several different dengue virus antibodies that react with Zika. But the antibodies could not inactivate Zika. In contrast, when cultures of Zika-infected cells were added to blood plasma from patients who had recovered from dengue virus, the amount of virus in the cultures increased 100-fold.

Public health expert Ernesto Marques of the University of Pennsylvania Pittsburgh said these data are convincing, but clinical and epidemiological studies are needed to confirm that the effect plays a role in patients. There have been cases of congenital Zika syndrome in infants and mothers who do not have antidang antibodies. Marques added that while antidengue antibodies thus increase the mother’s risk of transmitting the virus to her fetus, antibodies are not the main cause of birth defects.

Nature Immunology Gavin Screaton, author of the article in . and also an immunologist at Imperial College London, emphasized that studies investigating dengue antibodies in Zika patients have been complicated by similar viruses. “We need a lot more blood tests to more easily tell if the patient has antibodies to Zika, dengue, or both viruses,” Screaton said.

Even if the findings are confirmed, there isn’t much people infected with the dengue virus can do to protect themselves against Zika, other than, previously, reducing the risk of mosquito bites by using repulsives. There is a serious need for everyone in countries where Zika is already prevalent to take precautions against mosquitoes.

Zika virus laboratory test has started to be performed in certain centers in Turkey as ELISA and PCR methods.

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