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Puerto Rico reports first locally acquired case of Zika virus

Baba Health Tips

 The virus was identified in the Zika forest in Uganda in 1947 and is spread when mosquitoes bite an infected person. Outbreaks of Zika virus have happened in Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Island, and the virus has been reported in the Americas in recent years. There is no vaccine or medicine to treat infection.

Doctors and public officials in Puerto Rico, as well as countries that already have outbreaks of Zika virus, are stressing people avoid mosquito bites as much as possible and report symptoms that sound similar to Zika or other mosquito-borne viruses as soon as possible.

Researchers in Brazil also are investigating a relationship between the virus, which has been reported there, and a high number of infants born recently with small heads.

Pedro Perluisi, Puerto Rico’s representative in the U.S. Congress, said in a press release that there is no reason for alarm and the public should continue to take common sense steps to avoid mosquito’s bites, like wearing long pants, using repellent and long shirts.

Pierluisi also explained that CDC experts will be sent to Puerto Rico in early January to educate physicians and the public about the little-known virus in hopes of helping to prevent its spread, if the disease can’t be treated.

Symptoms of Zika virus appear between three and 12 days after a bit and include rash, fever, headache, and joint pain.

While the virus has been spotted in 14 countries, according to the Pan-American Health Organization, most attention has been paid to Brazil, which has linked the virus to an epidemic of microcephaly.

Babies born with the condition has smaller than normal heads because of abnormal brain growth, causing neurological and developmental problems, and eventually early death.

New York Times reported that Officials in Brazil are advicing women not to become pregnant, and monitoring pregnant women closely for the disease as there have been at least 2,782 cases this year, compared to 147 in 2014 and 167 in 2013.

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