by Shirley Johanna on  February 12, 2016 at 6:56 PM Tropical Disease News
Pregnant Australian Woman Tests Positive For Zika Virus
A pregnant woman from Australia has tested positive for Zika virus after traveling overseas, said health officials, adding that there was no public health risk.

The confirmation comes after a pregnant woman in the northern state of Queensland was diagnosed with the virus suspected of causing a surge in brain-damaged babies in Brazil.

The latest case involves a woman from the state of Victoria who was going through an "extremely anxious" time, the southern state's Health Minister Jill Hennessy said.

"A Victorian woman has been diagnosed this week with the Zika virus after recently returning from a country where the Zika virus is prevalent. This woman is pregnant," she said.

"The Zika virus is not present in Australian mosquitoes and there is no risk to the community that this condition will be passed on.

"However, we are advising all people, particularly pregnant women, to avoid traveling to those countries where there have been Zika outbreaks."

Three cases of the virus have been confirmed in Queensland state this year, and two in neighboring New South Wales.

None of the cases in Australia of Zika, which normally causes relatively mild flu-like symptoms and a rash, were locally acquired.

Scientists suspect that when Zika strikes a pregnant woman it can cause her fetus to develop microcephaly -- a condition that causes the baby to be born with an abnormally small head.

There is currently no cure or vaccine.

Source: AFP

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