Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Spain Reports First Case of Zika-Related Microcephaly | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Aedes aegypti mosquitoes to be tested for various diseases perch inside a container at the Gorgas Memorial Laboratory in Panama City

MADRID- According to official statistics, since the 3rd of May, approximately 105 people were reported in Spain to have been infected with the mosquito-borne Zika virus.

Nevertheless, Spanish health authorities stated that they had detected the very first known case in the country of the microcephaly birth defect in the foetus of a pregnant woman infected with the virus.

The reported case states that the woman is 20 weeks into her pregnancy, and according to Spanish media she has decided to keep the baby. Noting that 13 expectant mothers who have contracted the virus after travelling overseas were recorded to be infected.

While the birth defect is marked by babies born with brain abnormalities and undersized heads,the mosquito-borne Zika virus has been linked to hundreds of cases of microcephaly in countries such as Brazil, which has declared a public health emergency over the disease.

Though dozens of people in Europe and Spain are said to have contracted Zika after spending time in affected countries, noting that there have so far been few cases of babies developing microcephaly symptoms as a result in the region.

Spain had 105 known cases of Zika infections at the latest count, all of which resulted from travelling overseas. Other countries such as France have reported cases of the Zika virus being sexually-transmitted.

There is no cure or treatment for the virus, which is usually transmitted by mosquitoes and has spread to more than 30 countries.