Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Puerto Rico Reports 78 New Zika Cases; 785 So Far

By on May 6, 2016

Zika Ana Rius mug

Health Department Secretary Ana Ríus Armendariz

SAN JUAN – Health Department Secretary Ana Ríus Armendariz said Friday that 78 more Zika virus cases have been confirmed in Puerto Rico this past week, of which 11 were pregnant women.

The total of confirmed cases is 785. Seven more people, for a total of 26, are now hospitalized with Zika-related symptoms.

After a fourth case of the virus was found in Connecticut Friday, state officials are renewing travel warnings related to the disease.

The state Department of Public Heath says the latest patient is a woman in her 30s. Officials say she traveled from the Caribbean to Connecticut on April 25 and became ill on April 29.

Health officials say they have been told that one in five residents of Puerto Rico are likely to become infected with the virus and are warning pregnant women to avoid travel to the island and other places where the virus is prevalent.

Officials say travel to those areas has resulted in 426 cases of Zika in the continental United States.

In Connecticut, 245 patients, including 217 pregnant women, have been tested for Zika.

Meanwhile, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has established a U.N. trust fund to help finance urgent priorities in combating the virus.

A U.N. announcement Friday said money is needed to help countries implement their national plans to respond to the Zika outbreak “and address the broader social and economic challenges that lie ahead.”

The virus is spread mainly by mosquitoes. In most people it causes only a mild illness at worst. But last year doctors in Brazil saw a dramatic increase in the number of children born with unusually small heads to women who were infected during pregnancy, identified as microcephaly.

Since January 2015, the United Nations said 61 countries and territories have reported local transmission of the Zika virus and some have seen “an unprecedented rise” in microcephaly cases.

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