Russia reports first case of Zika virus

Feb 16, 2016, 8:36 AM EST
(Source: coniferconifer/flickr)
(Source: coniferconifer/flickr)

Report comes as Brazil, Venezuela attempt to contain the mosquito-borne disease. 

Reuters writes:

Russia has registered its first case of a person infected with the Zika virus after a tourist contracted the disease in the Dominican Republic, Russian Health Minister Veronika Skvortsova said on Monday.

"The first infection with Zika has been recorded. This is a 36-year old Russian woman who was in the Dominican Republic and came back to the Russian Federation in February," Skvortsova told reporters at a UN briefing on Russia's Ebola vaccine.

Skvortsova said the unnamed woman's family were healthy and had not tested positive for Zika, which has reached more than 30 countries and been linked to thousands of birth defects in Latin America. The World Health Organization declared the spread of the disease a global health emergency earlier this month.

The Washington Post reports:

Some independent experts estimate that there have been more than half a million cases of the mosquito-borne disease, which would give Venezuela the second-largest Zika total behind Brazil.

The government has acknowledged 255 cases of the rare Guillain-Barré syndrome since Zika arrived last year, more than twice the number in neighboring Colombia.

The Venezuelan government has reported three Zika-related deaths, although it has not provided details.