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Dominica reports first case of Zika virus

ZIKA VIRUS :It is believed that the number of affected by the mosquito-borne virus, associated with brain damage in babies, is expected to rise

CARIBBEAN ISLAND Dominica is reporting its first case of the Zika virus that has been rapidly spreading across the hemisphere.

Health minister Dr Kenneth Darroux said it is a locally transmitted case as the patient person has not recently travelled off the island.

In a statement, Dr Darroux said that the patient has since recovered “and all immediate contacts have so far been deemed healthy.

“To date, a total of 13 samples have been tested for Zika virus with only one being positive,” he said.

Darroux asserted that there was “no need for alarm” and advised anyone showing symptoms to seek medical help.

The mosquito-spread Zika causes a mild illness in most people. But researchers are trying to determine whether the virus can cause microcephaly, a condition in which babies are born with abnormally small heads and brain damage. The virus has also been linked to the rare Guillain-Barre paralysis.

Since the first case of the virus was recorded in 2015, it has steadily spread to 36 countries in the Americas and the Caribbean including Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica as well as Guyana and Suriname.

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