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Published On: Fri, Dec 20th, 2013

35,000 suspected cases of Zika fever reported in French Polynesia

In a follow-up to a story from late November, according to the latest numbers from the French Polynesia Department of Health as of December 3, there has been 99 laboratory confirmed cases and 35,000 suspected cases of Zika fever reported. No hospitalizations or deaths have been reported.

Female Aedes aegypti mosquito Image/James Gathany

Female Aedes aegypti mosquito
Image/James Gathany

Zika fever is an illness caused by a virus that spread through mosquito bites.

It is a flavivirus related to yellow fever, dengue, West Nile, and Japanese encephalitis viruses; however, Zika virus (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.

Symptoms of Zika fever may include fever, headache, red eyes, rash, muscle aches, and joint pains. The illness is usually mild and lasts 4-7 days.

Some experts note that because the virus has spread outside Africa and Asia, ZIKV should be considered an emerging pathogen.

ZIKV illness to date has been mild and self-limited, but before West Nile virus caused large outbreaks of neuroinvasive disease in Romania and in North America, it was also considered to be a relatively innocuous pathogen, some experts warn.

There is currently no vaccine or medicine to prevent Zika fever. Travelers can protect themselves by preventing mosquito bites.

For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page and the Outbreak News This Week Radio Show page.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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