MOSCOW/GENEVA (Reuters) - Russia has registered its first case of a person infected with the Zika virus after a tourist contracted the disease in the Dominican Republic, Russian Health Minister Veronika Skvortsova said on Monday.
“The first infection with Zika has been recorded. This is a 36-year old Russian woman who was in the Dominican Republic and came back to the Russian Federation in February,” Skvortsova told reporters at a UN briefing on Russia’s Ebola vaccine.
Skvortsova said the unnamed woman’s family were healthy and had not tested positive for Zika, which has reached more than 30 countries and been linked to thousands of birth defects in Latin America. The World Health Organization declared the spread of the disease a global health emergency earlier this month.
Skvortsova said Russians travelling to countries with Zika were being tested before returning home.
“We are extremely cautious,” she said. “Our specialists have come up with excellent methodological protocols for immediate diagnosis of Zika, and also preventive measures.”
Reporting by Andrew Osborn, Jack Stubbs and Stephanie Ulmer-Nebehay; Editing by Christian Lowe, Larry King