Colombia health officials continue to see a rise in total Zika virus cases as more than 1,000 laboratory-confirmed and suspected cases have been seen in each of the past 5 weeks.


Since the appearance of the virus in Colombia a few months ago, officials report a cumulative total of 7,516 confirmed and suspected cases as of Dec. 12.

Laboratory confirmed cases have been reported from 28 of the 36 local authorities, while suspected cases reported to the national epidemiological surveillance system have been reported from 34 of the 36 local authorities.

Cases have been confirmed in 150 municipalities of the country, of which 72 (48.01%) for the Central Region and 24 (16.05%) correspond to the Eastern Region. Antioquia is the territorial entity with the largest number of municipalities with cases Confirmed (22 municipalities).

Zika virus (ZIKV) is a flavivirus related to yellow fever, dengue, West Nile, and Japanese encephalitis viruses; however, ZIKV produces a comparatively mild disease in humans. It was first isolated from an infected rhesus monkey in the Zika Forest of Uganda in 1947.

Until recently, it was relatively rare to see ZIKV outside of Africa and Asia. The virus is transmitted to humans via mosquitoes of the genus Aedes.

Symptoms may include a headache, a maculopapular rash covering the face, neck, trunk, and upper arms,which may spread to the palms and soles. Transient fever, malaise, and back pain may also develop.

In 2015 to date, 10 countries in Central and South America and Mexico have reported local transmission of Zika virus.