A pregnant woman has tested positive for Zika virus in south-east Queensland.
It is believed the woman has returned from travelling overseas, prompting authorities to renew their warnings for pregnant women to avoid countries affected by the mosquito-borne illness.
The case is Queensland’s third for 2016, and is particularly worrying because outbreaks in Brazil and French Polynesia have raised concerns about a possible link between the virus and birth defects including microcephaly.
Microcephaly is a neurodevelopmental condition that causes babies to have significantly smaller heads and is linked to lower life expectancy and intellectual disabilities.
“This is not a locally acquired case of the virus,” Queensland Health said in a statement.
A Gold Coast woman diagnosed with the virus after returning from El Salvador originally contracted it in 2015, Queensland Health has further advised.
The department has recorded seven confirmed cases in 2014 and four in 2015.
Queensland Health also urged the media to respect the privacy of the pregnant woman, and advised that no further information would be released.
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