Tags: zika virus | new york city

Zika Virus: Three Cases Now Confirmed in New York City

Image: Zika Virus: Three Cases Now Confirmed in New York City

A female Aedes aegypti mosquito is shown in this 2006 Center for Disease Control (CDC) photograph released to Reuters on October 30, 2013. (James Gathany/CDC/Handout via Reuters)

By    |   Friday, 29 Jan 2016 08:47 AM

New York health officials confirmed a third case of the Zika virus in the city on Thursday, the same day the World Health Organization said the disease was "spreading explosively."

The New York Daily News reported that all of the cases in the Big Apple involve persons who acquired the virus while traveling in the Caribbean and Latin America, and officials said the mosquitoes suspected of carrying the virus are not found in New York.

The disease is currently thought to be especially dangerous for pregnant women, as it appears to cause microcephaly, characterized by abnormally small head and brain development.

Dr. Margaret Chan, the director general of WHO, said in a speech in Geneva, Switzerland, on Thursday that more than 20 countries have reported cases of Zika since last spring.

"The level of alarm is extremely high," she said, according to The New York Times.

As a result of the outbreak, the government in some countries like El Salvador have advised against pregnancy until 2018.

Relatedly, the BBC reported that, "A group of Brazilian lawyers, activists and scientists is to ask the country's supreme court to allow abortions for women who have contracted the virus. Abortions are illegal in Brazil, except in health emergencies or cases of rape or, since 2012, another brain condition known as anencephaly." 

Here in the US, however, the risk of contracting the virus is much lower.

"For the average American who is not traveling to this area, there is nothing they need to worry about," said Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Officially, the CDC has advised pregnant Americans to avoid travel to the affected region.

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New York health officials confirmed a third case of the Zika virus in the city on Thursday, the same day the World Health Organization said the disease was "spreading explosively."
zika virus, new york city
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2016-47-29
Friday, 29 Jan 2016 08:47 AM
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