Pregnant Australian woman confirmed positive for Zika virus

Canberra, Feb 11 (IANS) Australian health authorities announced on Thursday that a pregnant woman in Queensland state has tested positive for Zika virus.

The Asia-Pacific has been on high alert for the mosquito-borne virus, currently found in epidemic proportions in South America, following the declaration of a global emergency by the World Health Organisation (WHO) last week, Xinhua news agency reported.

The woman, diagnosed on Tuesday after returning from an overseas trip, marks the third case of Zika virus to be confirmed in Queensland this year after another woman and a child were diagnosed last week. Seven cases have been found in New South Wales state.

Health authorities in Queensland state issued a statement late on Wednesday, saying until more was known about the Zika virus, women who are pregnant or those actively seeking to become pregnant should reconsider travelling to any area where Zika virus transmission is present.

Though the WHO have declared the Zika virus to be a global epidemic, vaccine manufacturers have said a vaccine for wide-scale public use is months, if not years away.

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