Pentagon says 33 US military personnel infected with Zika

A Miami police officer gives out cans of insect repellent to help prevent mosquito bites on Aug 2, 2016, in Miami, Florida.
A Miami police officer gives out cans of insect repellent to help prevent mosquito bites on Aug 2, 2016, in Miami, Florida.PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - Thirty-three members of the US military, including a pregnant woman, are believed to have contracted the mosquito-borne Zika virus overseas, the Pentagon said on Wednesday (Aug 3).

Air Force Major Ben Sakrisson, a Pentagon spokesman, said the US service members are believed to have been infected outside the continental United States, but cautioned that it is hard to tell where exactly they may have contracted Zika.

Florida authorities last week reported the first signs of local transmission of the virus in the continental United States in a Miami neighbourhood.

The Zika outbreak was first detected last year in Brazil.

US health officials have concluded that Zika infections in pregnant women can cause microcephaly, a birth defect marked by small head size that can lead to severe developmental problems in babies.