SAN JUAN – Puerto Rico on Thursday confirmed its first case of the Zika virus in a pregnant woman.
The virus is spreading rapidly through the Americas and, although it is not overly dangerous for most of the public, it has been linked to congenital deformations in newborns.
“The woman is currently in the first trimester ... and has been informed about the possible risk of the virus for her pregnancy. She’s been evaluated by her doctor and has asked that her privacy be respected,” said Puerto Rican Health Secretary Ana Rius on Thursday.
Rius said that the woman was between 25 and 35 years old but provided no further details about her, adding that three Zika cases were confirmed over the past week, bringing to 19 the number of people known to have been infected on the island, although health authorities say that often the symptoms go unnoticed.
Fifty-eight percent of the people confirmed to have the virus on the island, Rius said, are women.
Since the first case was detected in Puerto Rico, the tourist and health sectors, in particular, have taken measures to eliminate the mosquitoes that spread it at government facilities.
The Aedes aegypti mosquito transmits Zika, the same insect that carries dengue fever and Chikungunya.
Rius also said that between Jan. 24-30, 1,657 cases of flu and 70 hospitalizations for it were reported.
“The region ... with the highest rate (of flu) is that of Ponce. We continue to urge people to get vaccinated,” state epidemiologist Brenda Rivera Garcia said.