22:40 GMT +319 January 2019
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    Nancy Trinidad, who is 32 weeks pregnant, listens to the explanation of a doctor about how to prevent Zika, Dengue and Chikungunya viruses at a public hospital in San Juan, Puerto Rico, February 3, 2016

    Puerto Rico Sees Rapid Spread of Zika With Over 5,500 Cases Diagnosed

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    Positive tests for people with suspected Zika virus infection increased from 14 percent in February to 64 percent in June in the US territory of Puerto Rico, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — More than 5,580 people in the US territory of Puerto Rico have been diagnosed with the Zika virus, including 672 pregnant women, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in a press release on Friday.

    "Positive tests for people with suspected Zika virus infection have increased from 14 percent in February to 64 percent in June," the release stated.

    Incident Manager for CDC’s Zika Response Lyle Peterson said the territory is in the midst of a Zika epidemic.

    "This could lead to hundreds of infants being born with microcephaly or other birth defects in the coming year," Peterson added.

    Earlier on Friday, Florida Governor Rick Scott announced that the state’s Department of Health has discovered four cases of the Zika virus that were caused by local mosquitos.

    The current Zika outbreak started in Brazil in the spring of 2015, it is transmitted by daytime-active mosquitoes. While the virus does not cause serious complications in adults, it can cause severe brain defects and microcephaly in newborns.


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