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Collecting data Swiss-based Zika research project advances

Researchers in Brazil also work on analysing samples to identify the Zika virus

(Keystone)

Scientists in Switzerland say they have registered about 100 cases worldwide of women who contracted the Zika virus during pregnancy. Their aim is to carry out a large-scale epidemiological study to analyse the disease.

David Baud of the Lausanne University Hospital told the Swiss News Agency that most cases were from Latin America, including Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and the Caribbean region.

The researchers also have data from Spain, Britain, the United States, Thailand and Vietnam.

They sent out about 4,000 requests for cooperation to obstetricians around the world last August.

The initial phase of the research project was slow because of special rules in many countries, said Baud. He hopes the research team will soon have up to 300 data.

The scientist in Lausanne want to find out to what extent the transmission of the virus through sexual intercourse is a threat for Switzerland.

Just over 50 cases of Zika infections have been reported in Switzerland this year, according to information by the Federal Health Office published on Tuesday.

The Zika virus can cause a rare skull deformity called microcephaly in babies and is transmitted primarily by mosquitoes.

swissinfo.ch with agencies/ug


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