2,100 pregnant women in Colombia infected by Zika virus
This is a small fraction of the total 20,297 cases reported in Colombia
Bogota: The Colombian National Health Institute has revealed that more than 2,100 pregnant Colombian women have been infected with the mosquito borne Zika virus, as the disease continues its spread across America.
Pregnant women arrive at hospital to be checked for Zika virus in Tegucigalpa. Pic/AFP
The virus has been linked to the devastating birth defect microcephaly, which prevents foetus brains from developing properly as there is no vaccine for it. The Government has urged women to delay pregnancy for six to eight months to avoid potential infection.
The National health institute confirmed 20,297 cases of the disease in Colombia, among them 2,116 are pregnant women. There are so far no reported cases of microcephaly or deaths from the virus in Colombia.
The institute said 37.2 per cent of pregnant women with Zika live in Norte de Santander province, along the eastern border with Venezuela.
The health ministry has said women need to get abortions in the country.
Guatemalan health officials have said at least 105 people there had been infected with Zika, the virus suspected of causing grave brain damage in newborns. Health Ministry epidemiologist Judith Garcia said the 105 confirmed cases emerged from a total of 200 suspected cases, 68 of them from 2015. For each confirmed case, Garcia said, there may be three more patients who have not come forward.