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Two pregnant women among local Zika cases

Thursday, June 02, 2016 | 11:31 AM    

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Minister of Health Dr Christopher Tufton a short while ago disclosed that two pregnant women are among the 16 confirmed cases of the Zika virus in Jamaica.

Dr Tufton, speaking at a press conference now underway at the Ministry of Health in New Kingston to update the country on the virus, said the number of confirmed cases is just a small portion of what is actually the reality in terms of people who could possibly be infected as the World Health Organisation indicates that as much as 70 per cent of the population of a country may be infected over time.

With the Zika virus being linked to microcephaly, a condition in which an infant's head is smaller than the heads of other children of the same age and sex, the minister said the pregnant women are being closely monitored.

He said though that there have been no confirmed cases of microcephaly linked to the mosquito-borne virus in Jamaica.

The 16 confirmed cases included eight males and eight females. The health minister said they have all "fully recovered".

Meanwhile, the health minister said a total of 1,969 notifications for Zika have been reported to the ministry as at May 29, 2016.

He said of the notifications, 1,387 fit the case definition of Zika and were classified as "suspected Zika fever".

"We have received the highest number of notifications from Kingston and St Andrew (465) followed by St Catherine (405).

Jamaica recorded its first case of Zika infection on Friday, January 29, 2016.

Anika Richards

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