More countries confirm discovery of Zika virus cases

Countries including South Africa and Trinidad and Tobago have confirmed their first cases of Zika virus.

More than 5,000 pregnant women in Colombia have contracted the virus, its government has said.

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First case of sexually-transmitted Zika in France

France says the infected woman's partner travelled to Brazil Credit: Reuters

France has detected its first sexually-transmitted case of the Zika virus.

A senior health official announced today that a woman whose partner travelled to Brazil, the epicentre of the virus outbreak, was affected.

Earlier this week, U.S. officials said they were investigating 14 reports of the mosquito-borne disease that may have been transmitted through sex - including to several pregnant women.

Francois Bourdillon, head of France's Institute for Public Health Surveillance, said the infected woman was the country's "first confirmed indigenous case of transmission".

"This was a woman who had never travelled. Her partner had come from Brazil, so she was tested," Mr Bourdillon said, adding that both patients were doing well.

There is no cure or treatment for the virus which has so far spread to more than 30 countries.

First Zika virus case discovered in South Africa

An Aedes Aegypti mosquito, which transmits the Zika virus. Credit: Reuters

The first case of the Zika virus has been confirmed in South Africa, health authorities have said.

The mosquito-borne virus was found in a Columbian man visiting Johannesburg.

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said: "The businessman presented with fever and a rash approximately four days after arrival in South Africa but is now fully recovered."

The World Health Organization declared the outbreak a global public health emergency on February 1.


Trinidad and Tobago confirm first case of Zika

An Aedes Aegypti mosquito, which transmits the Zika virus. Credit: Reuters

A 61-year-old woman has been confirmed as the first Zika case in Trinidad and Tobago, the country's health ministry said.

Thousands of people across central and south America have already contracted the virus including many pregnant women.

The mosquito-borne disease has been linked to microcephaly in babies, an abnormal smallness of the head.

Brazil's government brings in army to combat Zika

More than 200,000 Brazilian soldiers have been out on the streets today as part of an education drive to combat the spread of the Zika virus.

The troops are handing out leaflets and aim to reach three million homes in 350 cities.

Video report by ITV News' reporter Helen Callaghan

Brazil's President joined by military for Zika safety drive

The nationwide campaign aims to educate the public about how to deter Zika carrying mosquitos Credit: REUTERS/Sergio Moraes

Brazil's President led a nationwide campaign to educate people in how they can help in the fight against Zika today, by visiting homes and sharing tips on how to deter virus carrying mosquitoes with the public.

President Dilma Rousseff, cabinet ministers, and as many as 220,000 troops all went door to door on the so-called National Day for "Zero Zika" in a concentrated effort to raise awareness about the disease which cuurently has no vaccine or treatment.

President Dilma Rousseff personally visited homes and handed out leaflets to raise awareness of safety measures that could be taken to try to avoid Zika Credit: REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes
220,000 troops took part in the awareness campaign on Saturday Credit: REUTERS/Adriano Machado
Tips on how to remove stagnant water and spray repellent were shared with the public by military forces Credit: REUTERS/Adriano Machado

More than 5,000 pregnant women in Colombia have Zika

An Aedes Aegypti mosquito, which transmits the Zika virus Credit: Reuters

More than 5,000 pregnant women in Colombia have contracted the Zika virus, bringing the total infections to 31,555, the country's health ministry has said.

The mosquito-borne disease has been linked to the microcephaly in babies, an abnormal smallness of the head which can be due to abnormal brain development.


Fourth British traveller diagnosed with Zika virus

A fourth British traveller has been diagnosed with the Zika virus since the beginning of the current outbreak, Public Health England has said.

The person had recently returned from Venezuela.

It brings the total number of cases detected in the UK in 2016 up to four.

Only two cases were diagnosed in Britain through the whole of last year, in travellers who had visited Colombia and Guyana or Suriname.

More than 3,000 pregnant Colombian women have zika

An Aedes Aegypti mosquito, which transmit the virus Credit: PA

More than 3,100 pregnant Colombian women are infected with the Zika virus, the country's president said.

The mosquito-borne disease is continuing its rapid spread across the Americas.

President Juan Manuel Santos also projected there could be up to 600,000 infections in 2016.

The virus has been linked to the microcephaly in babies, which prevents fetus' brains from developing properly.

There is no vaccine or treatment.

There are so far no recorded cases of Zika-linked microcephaly in Colombia, Santos said.

There are 25,645 people infected with the disease in Colombia, Santos said during a TV broadcast with health officials, among them 3,177 pregnant women.

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