Puerto Rico reports 10690 Zika cases amid ongoing epidemic

Puerto Rico health secretary Ana Rius said 90 people have been admitted to hospital because of Zika.

Some charities also hand out mosquito repellent.

The Florida Health Department confirmed three new local Zika cases in Miami-Dade county on Friday.

The United States reported its first locally transmitted cases of Zika in Florida in July. It allows Puerto Rico to apply for funding to hire and train unemployed workers to assist in mosquito control efforts, as well as outreach and education efforts. As of August 3, there have been 1,818 cases of travel-associated cases of Zika confirmed in the United States and 16 cases of sexually transmitted by a partner who returned from travel overseas.

The mosquito-borne virus causes severe birth defects in a developing fetus.

A total of 1,035 pregnant women are among the 10,690 people who have been infected in the USA territory of Puerto Rico in the past seven months, the island's health authorities said.

Pregnant women are particularly urged to protect themselves against Zika because it raises the risk of birth defects including microcephaly, in which infants are born with small heads and malformed brains.

Zika was first detected previous year in Brazil, where it has taken its heaviest toll so far, and has spread rapidly through the Americas.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, however, still advises pregnant women to avoid the entire neighborhood.

Health authorities say they believe the number of Zika cases is much higher because eight of 10 people show no symptoms and many do not go to the doctor.

As of Thursday, there have been 205 confirmed cases of travel-related Zika infections in Canada.

In the continental United States, Florida is the first state to report local transmission. Congress left for its summer break without reaching a new agreement, prompting some lawmakers to call for a special session to be held given the threat of Zika.

"The failure to pass a Zika emergency supplemental has forced the Administration to choose between delaying critical vaccine development work and raiding other worthy government programs to temporarily avoid these delays", Burwell wrote.

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