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March 29, 2023

Second Zika case confirmed in Romania

A second case of Zika virus infection was confirmed in Romania on Wednesday. The person infected is a child who contracted the virus in the French Guyana, according to the Health Ministry.

“We are talking about a 10-year-old boy who has been living with his family in the French Guyana for almost two years. The child arrived in Romania on July 12, to visit his relatives. A day later he had the following symptoms: fever, skin rash and myalgia. The symptoms disappeared after 24 hours,” according to ministry representatives.

On July 15, the child, who is a Romanian citizen, showed up at the ‘Dr. Victor Babes’ Hospital for Infectious and Tropical Diseases in Bucharest. The doctors decided to hospitalise him, bearing in mind that he had symptoms specific to the Zika virus and that he lives in a part of the world where this virus is actively transmitted (through mosquito bites).

The patient was hospitalised on July 18 and his family received specific recommendations from the doctors.

“On July 19, the results of the samples collected proved the presence of the Zika virus. Thus, the Health Ministry received confirmation of the existence of a second case of a Romanian citizen infected with the Zika virus abroad,” the document reads.

On Wednesday, the Ilfov County Public Health Directorate sent a note to the mayoralty of the locality where the boy’s family is staying and to the County Council. The note also included the recommendation for authorities to carry out mosquito control measures.

“The Health Ministry continues to consider that the risk of transmission of the Zika virus is at a minimal level in Romania. We reiterate that the Zika virus is not transmissible by air or by contact with an infected patient,” the ministry’s representatives stated.

The first Zika case was confirmed in Romania on July 12. The patient was a 27-year-old woman who contracted the virus in Martinique, a French island located in the eastern part of the Caribbean. Doctors confirmed she is infected with the Zika virus and made a series of recommendations, namely that she should avoid mosquito bites, should take the medication prescribed, should use protection when having intercourse and should avoid getting pregnant in the following 8 weeks. The Zika virus can be transmitted through the bites of mosquitos from the Aedes species but also through sexual contact or through contact with the blood of an infected person. The virus is not airborne and is not transmitted through contact with an infected person’s skin, Health Ministry officials assured.

Most Zika cases have been registered in Brazil – 1.5 million. The main problem is that an infected woman can pass on the virus to the foetus, exposing the latter to the risk of being born with congenital malformations, microcephaly in particular.

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