Zika virus in France
Eighteen cases have been reported in travelers in France’s overseas territories Martinique, Guadeloupe and in Guyana.
On February 7, 2016, French Health Minister Marisol Touraine said travelers coming back from Zika virus outbreak destinations to wait at least 28 days before giving blood. In the previous week, Brazil has reported two cases of Zika virus that was spread through blood transfusion. The French Minister also advised pregnant women in the country to alert authorities if they had traveled to any Zika outbreak destinations.
First Zika case of sexual transmission in France
France recorded its first case of Zika virus spreading through sexual transmission. A woman was infected when her partner returned from Brazil. The case was announced by French health minister Marisol Touraine on 27 February 2016. The woman was not hospitalized and is recovering well. The case was notified to the World Health Organization on 1 March.
Efforts to tackle Zika virus
French Health Minister Marisol Touraine recommended that people returning from affected areas avoid donating sperm or undergoing in-vitro fertilization for a month.
Efforts to develop Vaccine
French drugmaker Sanofi SA has announced a project to develop vaccine against Zika virus. On February 2, 2016 Sanofi SA has launched a project to develop a vaccine against the virus marking most decisive commitment yet by a major vaccine maker. The company said its Sanofi Pasteur vaccines division would use its expertise in developing vaccines for similar viruses such as yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis and dengue.
In 2015, French scientists detected presence of Zika virus in human saliva and published it in the Journal of Clinical Virology.