Friday 17 November 2017

Pregnant woman infected with Zika virus in Spain

The Zika virus is strongly suspected of causing birth defects in Brazil. (AP)
The Zika virus is strongly suspected of causing birth defects in Brazil. (AP)

A pregnant woman is among the seven people identified as being infected with the Zika virus in Spain after visiting affected countries.

The country's health ministry said the woman travelled to Colombia, was presumably infected during the trip and is in her second trimester of pregnancy.

She is under medical supervision in the north-eastern region of Catalonia.

The ministry says the number of cases diagnosed so far are within expectations and do not pose a risk for the virus to be spread in Spain.

International health authorities are trying to determine if the mosquito-borne illness is linked to birth defects in Brazil.

In the US, Florida Governor Rick Scott said the state has three new cases of Zika and he is adding a fifth county to his health emergency declaration.

Mr Scott told a news conference in Tampa that the 12 cases in Florida are all from people who became infected with the mosquito-borne virus when they travelled to other countries.

Florida's warm climate, year-round mosquitoes and revolving door of international travellers make it vulnerable, but local governments have a history of fighting off similar viruses.

Mr Scott said the state is preparing like it would for a hurricane and wants residents and tourists to know Florida is safe. He has asked the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention for 1,000 kits to test for Zika antibodies, on top of about 500 the state already has.

Press Association

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