Russia confirms First Case of Zika
The first case of the Zika virus has been confirmed in Russia, Rospotrebnadzor, the country's consumer watchdog said on Monday.
According to the statement issued by Rospotrebnadzor, the patient was a woman who had recently vacationed in the Dominican Republic. After she returned to Moscow, she reportedly fell ill. A test confirmed the virus.
"At present the patient is at an infectious diseases hospital, her condition is satisfactory," the watchdog reported via Newsweek. "Medical observation of family members has been established and no clinical manifestations of the virus were registered among them, as they tested negative for the Zika virus."
The officials added that the passengers on the woman's flight were not at risk of contracting the virus, which is transmitted via the aedes aegypti mosquito.
The Zika virus has been confirmed in more than 20 countries and territories located in central and South America. The World Health Organization (WHO) expects the virus to spread throughout the Americas - with the exception of Canada and Chile - once the weather gets warmer.
Although the Zika virus is a mild infection that can resolve on its own, officials throughout the Americas have increased their efforts to combat it due to strong evidence linking the virus to birth defect microcephaly. Since the link was made, officials have advised pregnant women to seek out medical care if they think that they could have been infected. Leaders from affected regions have also recommended women to delay pregnancy plans.
Officials from the U.S. and Brazil are working on creating a vaccine that can be clinically tested within the year. Russian President Vladimir Putin also ordered health officials to work on developing a vaccine last month even though the virus is not expected to reach the country.
Symptoms of an infection include fever, joint pain, rash and conjunctivitis (red eyes). In about 80 percent of the cases, symptoms will not show up.