Belize wary over US suspicion woman caught Zika on trip

The government of Belize issued a statement Thursday saying it was treating with caution information from US health authorities that a woman who was recently in the country caught Zika there.

"The ministry of health at this time is not confirming that this is the first case of Zika in Belize," the statement said.

"We are presently in communication with officials from the CDC (the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and the Pan American Health Organization Office in Belize to get more information in order to launch a proper epidemiological investigation."

According to the statement from Belize's health ministry, US authorities got in touch on Wednesday to say a woman who visited Belize March 14-19 came down with a rash on March 23 and a Zika infection was confirmed.

The woman, who was not identified, had not traveled elsewhere recently and there was "no evidence of ."

Zika is a mosquito-borne virus that has been linked to a surge of birth defects in Brazil and paralysis in some other cases.

It is usually transmitted by female Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, but some rare cases of transmission through sex have also been recorded.

Outbreaks have occurred in 34 countries throughout the Americas and the Caribbean, according to the CDC website.

Belize, a small Central American country next to Guatemala, was not on the CDC's list.

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© 2016 AFP

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