Doctor has 'no doubt' he has treated a Zika virus case in Ireland

The Department of Foreign Affairs has issued travel advice for 20 countries

Zika virus, Ireland, travel advice, mosquitos, WHO, Irish Tropical Medical Bureau, Dr Graham Fry

Army soldiers prepare for a clean up operation against the Aedes aegypti mosquito - which is a vector for transmitting the Zika virus - in Sao Paulo, Brazil | Image: Andre Penner / AP/Press Association Images

Germany has confirmed that it has had five cases of the Zika virus between October 2015 and January 2016.

The announcement by the German health ministry came as the director of the Irish Tropical Medical Bureau said he was sure he treated a case of the virus in Ireland.

But Dr Graham Fry says there is little danger of the virus spreading to here.

The illness, which is spread by mosquitoes, is linked to brain defects in babies.

The Department of Foreign Affairs has issued travel advice for 20 countries in response to the outbreak.

It says that those who intend to travel to Central and South America should ensure they take the proper precautions against mosquito bites - and secure the necessary vaccinations for this type of environment.

"While the risk is low in most cases I would particularly urge pregnant women and women who are trying to become pregnant to consider postponing their travel to affected areas and to consult with their healthcare provider before they travel", Minister Charlie Flanagan said.

Yesterday, the World Health Organisation (WHO) announced it hold an emergency meeting to discuss whether the outbreak qualifies as an international public health emergency on February 1st.

Scientists say they could have a vaccine available for emergency use in pregnant women before the end of the year.

Dr Graham Fry of the Irish Tropical Medical Bureau says Ireland's cold and wet climate means we have very few mosquitos - but he has treated a man with the virus already.

"I had a chap came in about two months ago who had just come back from Rio - he was sick, he was ill, muscle aches and pains, etc" he told Newstalk Breakfast.

"At present time within Ireland it's quite hard to get that blood test done - now that's going to change, obviously, with the current situation".

"So I didn't actually confirm his diagnosis, but I wouldn't have any doubt it was" he added.