The Lao People’s Democratic Republic has become the latest country to report autochthonous, or locally acquired Zika virus transmission, according to a report from the World Health Organization Friday.


Laos joins 40 other countries to record local transmission of the mosquito borne virus since Jan. 2015.

Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia and the Philippines have reported or indication of autochthonous Zika virus transmission in Asia.

The geographical distribution of Zika virus has steadily widened since the virus was first detected in the Americas in 2015. Autochthonous Zika virus transmission has been reported in 31 countries and territories of this region. Zika virus is likely to be transmitted and detected in other countries within the geographical range of competent mosquito vectors, especially Aedes aegypti.

So far an increase in microcephaly cases and other neonatal malformations has only been reported in Brazil and French Polynesia, although two cases linked to a stay in Brazil were detected in the United States of America and Slovenia.

During 2015 and 2016, 8 countries and territories have reported an increased incidence of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) and/or laboratory confirmation of a Zika virus infection among GBS cases.