Zika Virus: Pregnant woman among three confirmed cases in New York City

Four other people in New York State have been diagnosed with the virus

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The Independent US

A pregnant woman has been confirmed as being among three people diagnosed with the Zika virus in New York City.

There have been four other confirmed Zika cases in New York State, reports ABC 7.

All the people diagnosed with the virus had returned to New York from countries where the Zika virus is ongoing.

But authorities say there is limited chance of the virus spreading in the city as infected mosquitos, the main carriers of the disease, find it difficult to survive cold winters.

New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said: "Because Zika virus is primarily transmitted by infected mosquitos, there is very limited chance of local transmission in New York during the winter.

"Even so, the Department of Health is taking steps now to protect the health of all New Yorkers and to prepare for the warmer months when mosquitos will be active in New York."

New York City Commissioner of Health Mary Bassett said people should be careful considering where to spend their winter holidays.

She added: "This might be a good winter to think about a vacation in the Catskills."

The Zika virus is linked with the birth defect microcephaly, which sees children born with abnormally small brains, along with a neurological syndrome which can cause paralysis.

The disease has spread across South and Central America with a handful of cases being reported in the UK, US and Germany.

Zika is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito and cannot be spread through everyday human-to-human contact. There is currently no known cure or vaccine.