Two cases of Zika virus reported to HSE
Two fully recovered adults presented with disease following travel to Zika affected country
Zika virus is spread through the bite of a mosquito that is in certain countries but which is not present in Ireland, HSE said. Photograph: Mariana Bazo/Reuters
Guatemala has increased monitoring of pregnant women because of the risk of infection by Zika virus. Photograph: Johan Ordonez/AFP/Getty Images
A Mexican Health Ministry worker fumigates a house in Oaxaca, Mexico, February 2nd, 2016. Secretary of health of Mexico Mercedes Juan confirmed 21 Zika cases have been registered in the country, with no pregnant women affected. Photograph: Mario Arturo Martínez/EPA
The HSE says it has been informed of two unrelated cases in Ireland of Zika virus infection.
The two adults are currently well and fully recovered, the HSE said in a statement.
“Both individuals have a history of travel to a Zika affected country. These are the first cases of Zika virus infection confirmed in Ireland. Neither case is at risk of pregnancy,” the HSE said.
It is understood the two adults are a man and a woman who had recently returned from travel overseas.
The finding of Zika cases in Ireland is not an unexpected event as many other European countries have reported cases as a result of travel to affected areas.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) declared Zika to be an international public health emergency on Monday.
The WHO has said for the vast majority of people who contract the virus, it will lead to mild symptoms. However, the concern arises regarding its potential threat to pregnant women.
The HSE noted that infection when it occurs usually results in a mild illness that typically lasts between two to seven days. The majority of people who become infected by Zika virus have no symptoms.
“Zika virus is spread through the bite of a mosquito that is in certain countries but which is not present in Ireland,” the HSE stressed.
While almost all cases of Zika virus are acquired via mosquito bites, one case of sexual transmission of Zika virus has been reported internationally, however the risk of sexual transmission of Zika virus is thought to be extremely low, it added.
The HSE added: “If you become ill within two weeks after your return to Ireland from an affected area, you should contact your doctor for assessment and let him/her know of your recent travel history to an affected area.”