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Tonga confirms 2 zika cases with pregnant women

SUVA, Feb. 4 (Xinhua) -- Tonga has confirmed two zika cases and there are at least 259 suspected cases of zika virus in the Pacific island kingdom, local media reported Thursday.

According to Radio Tonga, two Tongan pregnant women are confirmed by the Ministry of Health to have contracted zika virus, and there is a possibility that their unborn babies can be affected.

The zika virus is believed to have been spread by five Tongans who returned home from overseas last week, Tongan Health Minister Saia Piukala has told the parliament.

As of last Wednesday, a total of 259 people have been referred to the Ministry of Health with symptoms related to zika virus, and 35 specimens are still away overseas for analysis.

Zika virus is spread by the same type of mosquitoes that carry dengue fever virus.

Urging the public to rest and drink a lot of water if they suspect that they have contracted zika virus, Piukala called on the World Health Organization and Australia and New Zealand to assist in clearing up mosquito breeding areas.

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