Germany confirms five Zika virus cases

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Sueli Maria (obscured) holds her daughter Milena, who has microcephaly, (born seven days ago), at a hospital in Recife, Brazil, January 28, 2016. Milena was born with microcephaly, a neurological disorder that damaged her brain and also affected her vision, a condition associated with an outbreak of Zika virus in Brazil. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino

Bonn, Jan 30: Five people in Germany have Zika virus infections, having visited Latin America and the Caribbean in recent months, German health officials say.

Zika is thought to cause a form of infant brain damage, microcephaly.

Brazil is the country worst affected by the Zika outbreak, with 270 cases of microcephaly confirmed by the health ministry and 3,448 being investigated.

German virologists say the type of mosquito that carries Zika – Aedes aegypti – does not exist in Germany.

The mosquito is known to be spreading through Latin America and the Caribbean.

The German health ministry said a patient in Bavaria “spent some time on the island of Martinique in early January, but has got better since then”.

Three to four million people could be infected with Zika in the Americas this year, experts have warned.

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