SF confirms three more cases of Zika virus

Blood samples from pregnant women are analyzed for the presence of the Zika virus, at Guatemalan Social Security maternity hospital in Guatemala City, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2016. (AP Photo/Moises Castillo)

Blood samples from pregnant women are analyzed for the presence of the Zika virus, at Guatemalan Social Security maternity hospital in Guatemala City, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2016. (AP Photo/Moises Castillo)

Three new cases of Zika virus were diagnosed in San Francisco in the past two weeks, bringing the total number of The City’s cases to five, health officials said Friday.

Each of the patients contracted the virus while traveling in countries where Zika virus is circulating, and health officials emphasized Zika is not circulating in California and there is no risk to the public.

San Francisco reported its first case of Zika virus on March 3, and its second on April 22.

The Zika virus is mainly circulating in a number of Latin American and Caribbean countries, and is spread primarily through mosquito bites. It generally causes symptoms like fevers, joint pain, rashes and red eyes, but the virus has recently been linked to the birth defect “microcephaly,” which causes babies to be born with unusually small heads.

“Since it is summer travel season, we want to remind San Franciscans who are planning to travel to countries where Zika virus is circulating to protect themselves from mosquito bites, and to caution pregnant women to avoid unnecessary travel to these areas,” Dr. Tomás Aragón, The City’s health officer, said in a statement.

The mosquito that spreads the Zika virus, called Aedes, is found mostly in tropical countries. It’s the same mosquito that spreads other viruses, like dengue fever. Health officials said no Aedes mosquitos have been found in San Francisco.CaribbeanDepartment of Public HealthLatin AmericamosquitoZika virus

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