Colombia reports almost 43,000 Zika cases


BOGOTA:  Colombia has registered 42,706 cases of people infected with Zika, including 7,653 in pregnant women, the country’s National Health Institute reported on Saturday.

The latest count represents an increase of 5,695 new cases of the mosquito-borne virus in the last week, including 1,300 in pregnant women.

Although the disease’s symptoms are undetectable or mild in most people — including low fever, headaches and joint pain — Zika’s rapid spread has raised alarms in Latin America because it has been tentatively linked to a serious birth defect known as microcephaly in babies born to women who became infected while pregnant.

Microcephaly is an irreversible condition in which babies are born with abnormally small heads and brains and suffer damage to their cognitive and motor development. There is currently no cure or vaccine for Zika.

AFP

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