In what is the first such case in Europe, the Ministerio de Sanidad, Servicios Sociales e Igualdad in Spain reported on a Zika virus infection in a pregnant woman from Catalonia, according to a health ministry press release (computer translated).
Health officials say the woman developed symptoms of Zika after traveling to Colombia. The patient, who is in the second trimester of pregnancy, is currently under medical supervision.
To date, the National Center for Microbiology diagnosed seven people infected with Zika virus after visiting affected countries (imported cases). The cases are from Catalonia (3), Castilla y León (2), Murcia (1) and Madrid (1). All are in good condition.
There are fears that Zika could infect hundreds of thousands of people in Spain if the closely-related to the Aedes aegypti mosquito, the tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) starts spreading the disease.
According to Frederic Bartumeus, a research professor based in Catalonia, “I am sure the tiger mosquito can carry Zika, but we have not seen yet in Europe how efficient it is at spreading it”.