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1st locally acquired Zika case confirmed in Chile

A couple sits near a park in a residential area of Santiago, Chile. AP Photo/Luis Hidalgo

SANTIAGO, Chile – Chilean health officials say they’ve registered the first locally acquired case of the Zika virus, which was sexually transmitted within the country.

The Health Ministry said in a statement Saturday that a 46-year-old woman got Zika inside Chile having unprotected sex. Her partner recently returned from a visit to Haiti, where he was infected with the virus.

READ MORE: Canadian travellers: paralyzing disorder cases spike in Zika affected countries

The mosquito Aedes Aegypti that transmits Zika and other viruses including dengue is not present in Chilean continental areas. There previously were 10 confirmed cases of Zika in Chile contracted during travels abroad.

Chile’s health authorities recommend protected sex for four weeks for people returning from areas where Zika exists.

Aedes Aegypti has been detected in the Easter Island territory, in the Pacific Ocean more than 3,500 kilometres from Chile’s mainland.

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