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Norway tells pregnant women to avoid Miami over Zika fears

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Oslo - Norwegian authorities on Tuesday issued a travel warning for the US city of Miami for pregnant women due to risks linked to the Zika virus.

"Pregnant women are advised

not to travel to Miami and people who have been to Miami should take the necessary precautions on their return," the Norwegian Institute of Public Health said in a statement.

The recommendation follows the announcement of 14 cases of Zika in the Miami neighbourhood of Wynwood, a popular arts and restaurant district.

US health authorities on Monday issued a travel warning for the Wynwood district alone, while the Norwegian recommendation covers the entire city of Miami in the US southern state of Florida.

The institute said its decision was based on the "uncertain situation at this stage concerning the spread of the virus in Miami."

Contacted by AFP, the institute said it had taken its decision independently of other European health authorities, which have yet to issue any travel recommendations. It added it wanted to pre-empt any departures for Miami during this summer holiday season.

The 14 Miami cases mark the first time the Zika virus, which can cause birth defects and is considered particularly dangerous for pregnant women, is known to be spreading via local mosquitoes in the United States.

Zika is spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito and also by sexual contact.

Over 1,600 cases of Zika have been previously reported in the United States, but most were brought by travellers who were infected elsewhere.

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