Zika virus found in Israeli toddler

The yellow fever mosquito (Aedes aegypti), pictured here, is known for spreading diseases such as dengue fever, chikungunya, yellow fever, and the Zika virus. Credit: James Gathany via Wikimedia Commons.

(JNS.org) Just days after news broke that the Zika virus—a mosquito-born disease currently spreading across Latin America—has arrived on U.S. soil in the form of three new confirmed cases in Florida and two more in Illinois, the virus has also reportedly been discovered in Israel. 

In the Israeli case, a toddler was reportedly infected with the virus while on a trip to Colombia. While there is no vaccine or treatment for the virus, the child is recovering and has been released from the hospital.

On its own, the Zika virus rarely causes serious symptoms, but it is suspected to be causing a severe birth defect called microcephaly, which makes it particularly dangerous for pregnant women and their fetuses. Israel’s Health Ministry issued a recommendation to all pregnant women to avoid travel to countries affected by the virus, adding that pregnant women who cannot avoid such trips should consult with an infectious diseases expert or a travelers' clinic, Israel Hayom reported.

Last week, the U.S. issued a similar travel advisory calling on pregnant women to delay trips to Latin American and Caribbean countries.

Posted on January 22, 2016 .