First case of Zika virus confirmed in Trinidad and Tobago

A 61-year-old woman was confirmed as the first Zika case in Trinidad and Tobago.
A 61-year-old woman was confirmed as the first Zika case in Trinidad and Tobago.PHOTO: AFP

PORT OF SPAIN (REUTERS) - A 61-year-old woman has been confirmed as the first Zika case in Trinidad and Tobago, the country's Health Ministry said on Wednesday (Feb 17).

The Trinidad-based Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) confirmed the case after testing a blood sample from the woman.

"The patient recently travelled to New Zealand in January 2016. However, as New Zealand is a Zika-free country, the indications are that this is a locally acquired case," the Health Ministry said in a statement.

Much remains unknown about Zika, including whether the virus actually causes microcephaly, a condition marked by unusually small heads in newborns that can result in developmental problems.

Brazil said it has confirmed more than 500 cases of microcephaly, and considers most of them to be related to Zika infections in the mothers. Brazil is investigating more than 3,900 additional suspected cases of microcephaly.