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CDC urges aerial spraying in Puerto Rico to contain Zika virus

1,726 people in the US territory have been found infected with Zika virus, since last year

By: Reuters | New York | Published: July 7, 2016 7:18:33 am
Zika, Zika virus, us, puerto rico, aerial spraying, mosquito diseases, zika virus outbreak, zika virus prevention, world news, us news, puerto news, latest news, cdc, center for disease control Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are seen in a mosquito cage at a laboratory in Cucuta, Colombia. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan, File)

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Wednesday the Zika virus was spreading fast in Puerto Rico and urged the US territory to conduct aerial spraying to control mosquito populations to reduce Zika-associated birth defects.

“Multiple independent data sources indicate that at current trends, thousands of pregnant women in Puerto Rico will catch Zika,” CDC Director Tom Frieden said in a statement.

Aerial spraying is a safe and a proven approach to tackle mosquitoes that transmit diseases, such as, Zika, dengue and chikungunya, the CDC said.

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Since the start of the Zika outbreak late last year, 1,726 people in the US commonwealth have been infected with Zika, including a total of 191 pregnant women.

Puerto Rico is facing debt problems as its government and healthcare industry struggle to contain the spread of the Zika virus, blamed for severe birth defects and other neurological diseases.

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