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Ministry of Health Confirms 16 Cases of Zika Virus in Brazil
05/15/2015 - 08h54
Brazil's Ministry of Health has confirmed that 16 patients were infected by the zika virus. The infectious agent, unprecedented in the country, is transmitted by the mosquito Aedes aegypti, the same vector as dengue fever.
According to the Health Minister, Arthur Chioro, eight patients are from Camaçari city, in the State of Bahia.
The other cases were confirmed in cities of Rio Grande do Norte. The number could rise, as other 1,200 cases, mostly in the Northeast, are still being investigated.
Researchers at the UFBA (Federal University of Bahia) who were investigating a "mysterious disease" in the Northeast - as Folha published in early May -, identified the virus.
The suspicion is that it has arrived in Brazil with tourists at the World Cup.
Chioro believes the existence of confirmed cases of zika virus in the country "does not worry".
In general, it causes spots on the body, itching, fever, headache, muscle aches and joint pain. In some cases, patients also have redness in the eyes. The symptoms persist for up to seven days.
There is still no specific medication for the zika virus, as well as dengue fever.
The use of aspirin and anti-inflammatory drugs is not recommended, as it can increase the risk of complications, says the Ministry of Health.
Translated by JULIANA CALDERARI
|Paulo Whitaker - 6.mar.2015/Reuters|
|A health official walks past residents as he carries out fumigation to help control the spread of dengue fever in Sao Paulo|