Environmental destruction led to the rise of the Zika virus and is fuelling its spread, say experts.

Zika Virus

Zika virus is spread to people through mosquito bites. Felling forests brought people into contact with it and the growth of cities are factors behind its rapid proliferation. Dr Allison Gottwalt of The George Washington University’s Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics describes felling forests as creating “ideal conditions for vectors to breed and spread infectious diseases”.

Zika has reached 23 countries and territories since the first Brazilian case. The city of Recife, the epicentre of the Brazilian outbreak has called on its people to “change their attitudes to rubbish and the environment”.