Puerto Rico reports nearly 500 new Zika cases amid epidemic

Puerto Rico's health secretary says nearly 500 new cases of Zika have been reported in the U.S. territory in the past week.

Ana Rius said Monday that 34,562 cases of the mosquito-borne virus have now been registered, including nearly 2,700 that involve . Nearly 290 people have been hospitalized.

Authorities earlier this year declared a Zika epidemic on the island, and have warned that a growing number of babies will be born with severe birth defects known as microcephaly, characterized by abnormally small heads in newborns.

Five people infected with Zika have died in recent months in Puerto Rico, including two who developed complications from a paralysis condition known as Guillain-Barre.


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