Rare tropical disease Zika enters Panama

A rare tropical disease called Zika has made its way to Panama as first Zika virus cases were reported recently, according to local media reports. A report of the World Health Organization (WHO) showed that Mexico, Paraguay, and Venezuela are three other countries in the Americas with cases of Zika virus.

Many cases of Zika virus, a member of the Flaviviridae virus family which spreads through Aedes mosquitoes, are already reported in Central and South America. As per reports, the virus is spreading at a fast pace in the regions. The virus has become a pain for residents of Brazil, where the increase in Zika has been linked to 20-fold increase in microcephaly.

Earlier, the Pan American Health Organization warned people through an epidemiologic alert. The organization has asked countries to stay alert and look for the dangerous virus. Brazil has already issued warning for women not to get pregnant as the virus could be associated with rare birth defect.

An infectious disease blog, Avian Flu Diary, reported that health ministry of Panama has disclosed that three cases of Zika virus have been confirmed on the island of Ustupo. The new cases were reported during surveillance of residents with fevers.

With the new cases, Panama has become the tenth country in the Americas to report Zika virus infections. Last week, Venezuela, Mexico and Paraguay announced their first Zika virus cases. Health experts are investing the three countries to know on the virus.