In November 2015, Samoa reported local transmission of Zika virus infection. Since then, the Pacific Islands of American Samoa and Tonga have reported confirmed cases and ongoing transmission of the mosquito borne virus.

Aedes aegypti/CDC
Aedes aegypti/CDC

This weekend, health authorities in the Marshall Islands are reporting their first case of Zika infection, according to local media. The case is in a young female residing in the capital city of Majuro who had no travel history outside of the Marshall Islands, according to Health secretary, Dr. Kennar Briand.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control say the woman was pregnant at 12 weeks gestation on 14 February.

Several suspected cases were tested by a lab in Hawaii and this one came back positive for Zika.

The Marshall Islands experienced a widespread outbreak of Chikungunya in 2015.

“With frequent travel between Majuro and affected Pacific island countries, the Ministry of Health continues to work with health care providers and other regional public health partners to monitor possible imported cases,” Briand said. “Also, the Ministry of Health is working closely with the Environmental Protection Authority on vector control.”