Dominican Republic confirms 10 cases of Zika virus

 24 Jan 2016 - 8:23

Dominican Republic confirms 10 cases of Zika virus
A worker of the Salvadorean Ministry of Health fumigates a house in Soyapango, 6 kilometers from San Salvador, El Salvador, 21 January 2016. Salvadorean authorities have began a three days campaign of fumigation to reduce the presence of the mosquito that transmit the Zika virus. EPA/Oscar Rivera

Santo Domingo: The Dominican Republic said Saturday it has 10 confirmed cases of the mosquito-borne Zika virus, the ailment suspected of causing serious birth defects in newborns.

Altagracia Guzman, the Caribbean country's health minister, said lab testing of samples sent to the United States had confirmed Zika in 10 out of 27 suspected cases.

"In light of this finding, it is imperative to adopt strict measures across the nation to prevent and contain this illness," Guzman said.

Zika has been linked to a birth defect known as microcephaly, when babies are born with malformed and abnormally small heads. It is also associated with a higher incidence of miscarriages.

Proposed measures to contain the illness include stepped-up mosquito eradication, including eliminating standing water that can be breeding grounds for the insects.