Three new cases of Zika virus among San Francisco residents

FILE - In this Jan. 27, 2016, file photo, an Aedes aegypti mosquito is photographed through a microscope at the Fiocruz institute in Recife, Pernambuco state, Brazil. A New Jersey doctor said a woman from Honduras with the Zika virus gave birth to a baby on May 31, 2016, that appears to be affected by the disease, which is spread primarily through mosquito bites and can also be transmitted through sex. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana, File)

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Three new cases of the Zika virus among San Francisco residents have been diagnosed in the past two weeks, San Francisco’s Department of Public Health announced on Friday.

The number of San Francisco residents who have been diagnosed with the virus is now up to five. Each of the residents traveled in countries where Zika is circulating, health officials said.

The first virus case infecting a San Francisco resident was reported on March 3 and the second case was reported on April 22.

The virus is not being contracted locally, as the mosquito-borne illness is not circulating in San Francisco, according to health officials.

“Since is it summer travel season, we want to remind San Franciscans who are planning to travel to countries where Zika virus is circulating to protect themselves from mosquito bites,” said Dr. Tomas Aragon, San Francisco’s Health Officer.

Aragon added that pregnant women in particular should avoid “unnecessary travel” to the Latin American and Caribbean countries and some of the Pacific Islands — where the virus has been prevalent.

The virus cases mild symptoms of fever, joint pain, rash and red eyes. If a pregnant woman is infected with the virus during her pregnancy, health officials said, the virus is known to cause birth defects such as microcephaly, in which the child is born with an unusually small head.

Research into the exact risks posed by maternal Zika infection is ongoing, according to health officials.

Recent evidence of sexual transmission of the virus from men to women and men to men is also being studied, health officials said.

There is currently no vaccine available to prevent the infection.

Bay City News contributed to this report.

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