United Nations health officials have added three countries to the list of countries and territories with autochthonous transmission of Zika virus infection with that list now standing at 17 in the Americas.

Aedes aegypti/CDC
Aedes aegypti/CDC

Last week, we reported on two confirmed imported Zika cases; however, Ecuadoran health officials are now reporting on two native cases. Veronica Espinosa, deputy cabinet minister said, “We have now detected, confirmed by laboratory tests, the first two native cases. That is, we now have cases of the virus being transmitted by mosquito bites that happened in Ecuadoran territory.”

The two patients were a 23-year-old woman infected in the northwest and a 15-year-old boy infected in the southwest, both now in stable condition.

25 months ago, the Caribbean island of St. Martin reported the first local transmission of another mosquito borne virus, chikungunya, in the New World. The French side of the island has now reported the first autochthonous case of Zika.

Finally, Guyana Minister of Public Health, Dr George Norton announced the first locally acquired Zika case on Thursday as he addressed the National Assembly. He said that the Virus was detected in a 27-year-old female who hails from Rose Hall, Corentyne, Berbice, but also resides at Covent Garden, East Bank Demerara.

Norton says the virus was detected by the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) in Trinidad and Tobago.

Robert Herriman is a microbiologist, Editor-in-Chief of Outbreak News Today and host of the talk radio program, Outbreak News This Week 

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