Two pregnant women among seven B.C. residents who test positive for Zika virus

Two pregnant women are among seven British Columbians who recently tested positive for the Zika virus, which has been linked to birth defects.

VICTORIA — Two pregnant women are among seven British Columbians who recently tested positive for the Zika virus, which has been linked to birth defects.

B.C. Centre for Disease Control epidemiologist Dr. David Patrick says the two pregnant women are being monitored but so far no one among the seven people has required hospital treatment.

Patrick says 635 people from B.C. have been tested for Zika virus in recent months, with the seven positive cases amounting to about one per cent of the people tested.

Zika is from the same family of viruses as Dengue and West Nile Virus which are transmitted by the same types of mosquitoes found in South America, Latin America and the Caribbean, but sexual transmission of the virus has also been documented.

Patrick says there are no immediate concerns about the Zika virus becoming a major issue in B.C., but people travelling to countries where the virus is found need to make themselves aware and take precautions.

He says Zika virus in Canada ranks far below the relatively health outbreaks of SARS and avian influenza.

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