Zika and Dengue warnings issued as new outbreaks reported

Zika and Dengue warnings issued as new outbreaks reported

Zika and Dengue warnings issued as new outbreaks reported

International warning from health officials adds 11 countries to danger list while US has new killer virus warning.

U.S. health officials are advising pregnant women to postpone travel to 11 countries in Southeast Asia because of Zika outbreaks in the region.

The advisory issued Thursday targets travel to Brunei, Cambodia, East Timor, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Maldives, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Zika has been in some areas of Southeast Asia for years, and some residents may be immune. But a number of U.S. travellers have become infected there in the last year, so there is a danger to visitors.

Most infected people suffer a mild and temporary illness, at worst. But infection during pregnancy can causes severe brain-related birth defects. The virus is spread primarily by bites from infected mosquitoes.

The overseas travel warning comes as news of a locally-acquired Dengue fever infection has been reported in Miami. This is the second reported case in the state this year – the virus is transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito – the same culprit that spreads Zika.

In extreme cases Dengue fever can kill although most cases result in a high fever, aches and rashes.

Miami-Dade authorities are now carrying out aggressive mosquito control operations to try to limit the spread of both diseases.

The Canadian Press