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State Epidemiologist Confirms 1,914 New Zika Cases

By on August 12, 2016

SAN JUAN – State epidemiologist Dr. Brenda Rivera confirmed Friday the diagnosis of 1,914 new cases of Zika virus infections in Puerto Rico for week 30 of the epidemic.

“We have 1,914 new cases, for a total of 10,690 cumulative cases [since the beginning of the epidemic] and, of even greater concern, the number of new cases of infected pregnant women was 134 for a total of 1,035,” Rivera said.

The epidemiologist also confirmed three new cases of the Guillain-Barré Syndrome, for a total of 30.

FILE - In this Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016 file photo, a trap holds mosquitos at the Dallas County Mosquito Lab in Hutchins, Texas. The trap had been set up near the location of a confirmed Zika virus infection. On Thursday, June 16, 2016, thhe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that three babies with birth defects caused by Zika have been born in the U.S. Birth defects from the virus were also seen in three other pregnancies that ended. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

A trap holds mosquitos at the Dallas County Mosquito Lab in Hutchins, Texas. The trap had been set up near the location of a confirmed Zika virus infection. On Thursday, June 16, 2016, thhe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that three babies with birth defects caused by Zika have been born in the U.S. Birth defects from the virus were also seen in three other pregnancies that ended. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Rivera reiterated that the Zika virus is not a problem affecting only pregnant women, but everybody in Puerto Rico, referring to the fact that the virus only produces flu-like symptoms in only one out of every five people infected.

Rivera highlighted the fact that, while Puerto Rico is in its rainy season, the most active period of the season in terms of precipitation is yet to come, and an even higher increase in the number of cases can be anticipated.

“When the rains came in April, the number of Zika cases immediately peaked. We can expect that to happen again,” Rivera said.

The epidemiologist recommended the public to take precautionary measures to avoid getting infected. Some of those measures include the use of slacks and long-sleeve shirts, the use of insect repellent on all exposed skin and the removal of all open containers that could potentially accumulate water and become breeding grounds for the virus-carrying mosquito.

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