Indigenous Zika virus infection has been confirmed in two additional countries and territories in South America and the Caribbean as Bolivia and Guadeloupe officially report local transmission of the mosquito borne virus.

Western hemisphere map Public domain image/ E Pluribus Anthony
Western hemisphere map
Public domain image/ E Pluribus Anthony

Two weeks ago we reported on imported Zika in Bolivia in a traveler to Brazil. Now the Bolivian health ministry is saying that in addition to the 3 imported cases in Santa Cruz, a locally transmitted case  in the town of Portachuelo.

The case is reported as a pregnant women who is eight-weeks along. “She has not traveled outside the country. This is a home-grown case,” said Joaquin Monasterio, director of health services for the eastern department of Santa Cruz.

It is impossible to determine whether the woman’s baby will suffer from brain damage, officials said.

In addition, Guadeloupe, the island group in the southern Caribbean Sea has also reported their first local transmission of Zika infection. The patient is a girl from Grande Terre.

The Regional Health Agency (ARS) stated Saturday that the case is “qualified indigenous [contracted locally] since none of these people had traveled within fifteen days before the beginning of the signs”.

This brings the total countries and territories in the Western hemisphere with confirmed autochthonous Zika infection to 20.

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

Follow @bactiman63