Zika cases decrease but risk still present

The number of reported Zika virus cases is much lower so far this year than at this point in 2017. However, pregnant women remain advised not to travel to areas where there is a risk of contracting the virus.

Contracting Zika during pregnancy can cause microcephaly and other birth defects. The virus is primarily transmitted by infected mosquitoes. Pregnant women can pass the virus along to their unborn children. The virus also can be spread during sexual contact.

So far, there have been 65 cases of local mosquito-borne Zika virus reported in Puerto Rico in 2018, compared to 620 cases in 2017. No local mosquito-borne Zika transmission has been reported in the continental U.S. in 2018, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Transmission continues throughout Central America and South America, but at much smaller numbers than in 2017. Find Zika travel information at cdc.gov.

— Mayo Clinic

News Network

Hints from Heloise

Antiques different than collectibles

Harriet B. in Ohio asks: What’s the difference between an antique and a collectible?

Heloise says: An antique is an object that is desirable because of its age and importance. An antique is defined as being at least 100 years old, rare and in great condition.

A collectible also is valuable, but it’s typically a trendy item, something less than 100 years old, related to popular culture perhaps, and may go up or down in worth. It usually is not as valuable as an antique.

Vintage is something that’s “in” again after a short period — 25 years!

— King Features

Pop the question during spaceflight

ApoteoSurprise is a Paris-based high-end marriage planner specializing in spectacular and unique marriage proposals.

Its newest and most grandiose proposal package will have you and your intended blast off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida and spend a week in space, orbiting the moon where you can pop the question. Drawbacks: It won’t be available until 2022. You’ll have to undergo three months of astronaut training. And it’ll cost $145 million.

ApoteoSurprise does have some reasonably priced options for those looking to propose in Paris. For as little as $339, a fake delivery man can deliver your proposal using some sleight of hand involving a burning envelope and deck of cards. Check out all 30 proposal offerings at http://tinyurl.com/ycb46rov.

— Phil Marty

Chicago Tribune