42 cases of Zika infection reported in N.E. Panama

Updated: 2016-01-27 13:32


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PANAMA CITY - Panamanian authorities said Tuesday that by Saturday, the northeast indigenous community of Guna Yala has registered 42 cases of Zika, a mosquito-born virus which can cause microcephaly in fetuses.

Israel Cedeno, the country's head of epidemiology, said in a report that actions have been taken to eradicate breeding grounds for mosquitoes, which spread the Zika virus by bites, and to educate the population, especially pregnant women.

He suggested that women delay their pregnancy.

Cedeno said it is particularly urgent to stop the breeding grounds for the yellow fever mosquito, also called Aedes aegypti, which transmits not only Zika, but also dengue and the crippling Chikungunya virus, which have also been reported in Guna Yala

Cedeno urged the population to avoid keeping static water in pools, bottles, plates, bins, vases, tires or flower beds.

Cedeno also advised anyone with symptoms of Zika, including fever, headaches, muscular pain, nausea and vomiting, to seek medical attention and not to self-medicate.