Bird Flu and Chikungunya - we have all heard about it in the media. But is there a reason to be frightened and how big is the risk for you to catch these diseases in reality?
On 6 April the COST Office in Brussels organised a seminar on Bird Flu and Chikungunya, both viral infections of different kinds. Professor Marc van Ranst, the leading expert in this field from the University of Leuven informed the seminar about these two diseases and the actual risks that they represent for human beings.
Prof. van Ranst presentation showed that currently there is little risk for Europe regarding the Chikungunya virus (a tropical disease transferred by a particular species of mosquitoes). However, on the island of La Reunion a high percentage of the population is affected. In Europe some cases have been reported, affecting tourists coming back from their holiday on the Islands in the Indian Ocean. Prof. van Ranst concluded that there is practically no probability that the Chikungunya virus will be spread in Europe, because of the absence of the vector species.
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