Two Maldivians positive for Zika have recovered, says HPA

The Maldivian Health Protection Agency (HPA) has informed that two Maldivians who had tested positive for the Zika virus have now recovered.

HPA Epidemiologist Dr. Ibrahim Afzal told Avas that the two Maldivians who had tested positive for the virus were an elderly man and a young boy -- but both had recovered within a week of contracting the virus.

Afzal said that even though there is no cure for the virus, it can leave the body on its own.

"They were close to recovery when we took the sample. No other person has tested positive to a screening so far," Afzal said.

HPA had set up testing facilities at the state run Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) and had been carrying out random tests on patients presenting with high fever.

Zika causes only mild symptoms in most, including fever, sore eyes and a rash.

But pregnant women with the mosquito-borne virus risk giving birth to babies with microcephaly — a deformation that leads to abnormally small brains and heads.

Three tourists had tested positive for the virus after they left the Maldives earlier this year.

According to HPA, the tourists each from a different country — Germany, Spain and Finland had tested positive for the virus after holidaying in the Maldives this year.

It was however, unclear that the tourists had contracted the mosquito-borne virus from the Maldives.

There is no cure or vaccine for the virus, which has infected more than 1.5 million people in nearly 70 countries since last year, according to WHO, with Brazil the hardest hit.