SAN JUAN – U.S. health authorities on Tuesday warned that in the coming months thousands of pregnant Puerto Ricans will contract the Zika virus if appropriate measures are not taken on the island, where at present there are 157 confirmed cases, of whom 14 are pregnant women.
The director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Tom Frieden, said that thousands of pregnant women could be infected with Zika in Puerto Rico after emphasizing that $225 million will be allocated to fight the spread of the virus in the U.S. commonwealth.
Frieden, who this week is visiting Puerto Rico to increase cooperation with local authorities in the fight against Zika, said Tuesday in San Juan that 40 experts with the CDC have been dispatched to the island to work with the administration in San Juan on measures to halt the spread of the disease.
He also emphasized that the incidence of Zika is very different in Puerto Rico from the rest of the country, given that on the continent the percentage of homes with centralized air conditioning is much higher than on the Caribbean island, a situation that allows people to avoid the mosquitoes that carry the virus.
The Puerto Rico Department of Health confirmed Tuesday that it had received the first units of blood imported from the United States, the first such shipment as methods are put in place to detect the Zika virus in locally donated blood in hospitals here.