Two Zika infection cases detected in Australia

Sydney, Feb 2 (IANS) Two cases of Zika virus infection were detected in Australia’s News South Wales state, the media reported on Tuesday.

According to reports, the victims had recently travelled to the Caribbean before heading back to Sydney, Xinhua news agency reported.

Sky News quoted Vicky Sheppeard, director, Communicable Diseases, at NSW Health, as saying that Zika virus infection was confirmed on January 29 in two NSW residents who had recently travelled to the Caribbean.

“It is very unlikely that Zika virus established local transmission in NSW as the mosquitoes that spread the infection are not established here, although they are found in some parts of north Queensland,” Sheppeard said.

The health department said the residents had mild cases of the virus and have since recovered.

The World Health Organisation has declared the mosquito-borne virus a global emergency following an outbreak in Brazil. It has been linked to thousands of severe birth defects.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) had issued travel advise, urging Australians who will be travelling to some Latin American and Caribbean countries to protect themselves by taking measures to prevent mosquito bites.

DFAT also warned pregnant women or those who are actively seeking to get pregnant to consider postponing travel to any area where Zika virus transmission is ongoing.

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