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Woman tests positive for Zika after visiting Nicaragua

Zika is primarily transmitted through mosquito bites. Photo: Shutterstock

Zika is primarily transmitted through mosquito bites. Photo: Shutterstock

A 28-year-old woman has tested positive for Zika after returning to Malta from a visit to Nicaragua, the Health Ministry has said. 

The woman, who is single and lives alone, has been admitted to Mater Dei hospital, where she is in a good medical condition. 

This is the second reported case of a Zika-infected patient in Malta, after a Maltese man tested positive for the virus in January. The man had returned from a visit to the South Pacific islands. 

The Zika virus is not transmitted from person-to-person except through sexual intercourse. The virus is primarily spread to humans through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. 

Local Aedes albopictus, a mosquito species prevalent in Malta, is not infected with the Zika virus. Ministry officials, working in tandem with the University of Malta, are carrying out mosquito surveillance to keep tabs on the situation. 

The World Health Organisation raised its Zika threat level for Mediterranean countries such as Malta from 'low' to 'moderate' last month.

A team of experts from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control visited Malta this week to further support Malta’s response plan to the Zika situation, a ministry statement said. 

People travelling to affected areas are reminded to take necessary precuations to prevent being bitten by mosquitoes. For more information contact the helpline on 21324086

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