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Ecuador: First pregnant woman with Zika virus confirmed

Republic of Ecuador

Ecuador has confirmed its first Zika case in a pregnant woman.

The woman aged 19 years is in her 27th week of pregnancy.

According to the country’s national institute of public health investigations, the woman’s baby is not at risk of being born with microcephaly, a disease that affects newborns.

The virus has been linked to a wave of birth defects in Brazil where babies being born with small heads and undeveloped brains.

‘‘We have confirmation of the first pregnant woman with Zika. This woman is at 27 weeks gestation, which would make her outside the high risk time period for her baby to have microcephaly, because it’s been determined that the risk is much higher up to 14 weeks,’‘ said National Director of Epidemiological Vigilance Ligia Lema.

The country has confirmed 22 cases of the mosquito transmitted virus and concerns are running high that the disease could spread due to the weather patterns.

“Considering we’re facing an El Nino phenomenon, the amount of precipitation and the temperature has increased in the region where the vector is present. So, in light of this, the amount of vector we’re going to have is much more elevated,” Lema said.

The World Health Organisation recently declared the virus a global emergency and anticipates it to affect as many as 4 million people this year.

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