Image: A female Aedes aegypti mosquito is seen on the forearm of a health technician in a laboratory conducting research on preventing the spread of the Zika virus and other mosquito-borne diseases, at the entomology department of the Ministry of Public Health in Guatemala City, February 4, 2016. REUTERS/Josue Decavele
(Reuters) – Nicaragua and Honduras have both detected their first cases of the Zika virus in pregnant women, the Central American countries’ governments said on Thursday.
In Nicaragua, government spokeswoman Rosario Murillo, who is also first lady, said three women who were three to four months pregnant had been infected by the mosquito-borne virus and that the country was forging ahead with a fumigation program.
Nicaragua has detected a total of 29 cases of Zika to date.
In Honduras, Health Minister Yolani Batres said on Thursday authorities had detected six cases of Zika in pregnant women, again the first such cases. Honduras has registered more than 3,200 cases of Zika overall.
The World Health Organization has declared a global health emergency over the Zika virus rampaging through the Americas, saying it’strongly suspected Zika infection in pregnancy causes microcephaly, a condition marked by abnormally small head size in newborns that can cause permanent brain damage.
El Salvador is grappling with more than 7,000 cases, and last month urged women to avoid getting pregnant until 2018.
(Reporting by Ivan Castro in Managua and Gustavo Palencia in Tegucigalpa; Writing by Simon Gardner)
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