Son Espases hospital in Palma. | R.S.

The regional health ministry today put out a message seeking to reassure the public following what has been the first probable diagnosis of the Zika virus in the Balearics. The ministry says that there is a very low risk of transmission because of comparatively low mosquito numbers and activity at this time of the year.

The National Centre for Microbiology has confirmed that the case in question is quite probably the first example of Zika coming into the Balearics, and it involves a 67-year-old woman who came from the Dominican Republic. She arrived in Palma on 20 January and went to her local health centre at the start of February with mild symptoms which nevertheless aroused concerns that these could be because of Zika. Indeed, the woman said that two days before travelling to Spain, she had a fever.

Tests were made on 3 February at Son Espases and these were sent to the National Centre for Microbiology, which is the centre for diagnosing and controlling infectious diseases. At the start of February, the IB-Salut health service in the Balearics analysed four cases, two of which were negative for Zika, one of which showed probability and a fourth for which it has yet to receive results.

The department for public health and participation has put in place an interdisciplinary committee for monitoring and controlling transmitted diseases. This committee, comprising representatives from the health service, the environment ministry, the island councils, the university and the federation of town halls, met for the first time on Thursday. The public health department is also liaising with the national health ministry and other regions of the country in the development of a national plan for combating diseases transmitted by mosquitoes - Zika, dengue and chikungunya.