About two months after the first  2 autochthonous cases of Zika virus infection were confirmed in the South American country of Suriname, one expert estimates that the disease burden may be quite high.

Aedes aegypti mosquito feeding on a human host/CDC
Aedes aegypti mosquito feeding on a human host/CDC

According to a report in Loop Suriname this week, the head of the Academisch Ziekenhuis Paramaribo (AZP) lab, where the first cases were confirmed, says thousands may be infected with the mosquito borne viral illness.

John Codrington bases his estimate on the hundreds of testing applications the lab has received. Some of those who have tested positive include pregnant women.

The Bureau of Public Health Care, based on what is happening in Brazil with the surge in microcephaly cases seen this year, is advising women to delay pregnancy as a precautionary measure in the short term.

In addition, Suriname health officials announced an action plan which focuses on fighting the mosquito that transmits the Zika virus and educating the community.