Brazil has confirmed cases of Zika virus infection

by Wayne Ghesquiere on May 19, 2015

Since May 14, 2015, Brazil’s Ministry of Health has reported 16 locally acquired cases of Zika virus.  This is the first report of this virus in Brazil.

Zika virus is spread to humans through the bite of infected mosquito.   The Zika virus mosquito is from the same family as the dengue mosquito (dengue fever is nicknamed ” breakbone fever”.  Symptoms usually appear 3-12 days following a bite and can last 4- 7 days.  Symptoms are generally mild and can include :

  • fever
  • joint  pain
  • headache
  • rash
  • conjunctivitis

For Travellers:

High risk areas for dengue and zika virus are populated urban areas and residential areas; especially those with inadequately screened facilities and with stagnant water nearby.  These mosquitoes are generally day time biters and are most active  early morning and late afternoon.

There is no vaccine or specific treatment for the Zika virus.  Travellers are recommended to practice daytime insect precautions as the main prevention strategy.

If you return from travel and experience symptoms, seek medical aid.  Ensure you inform your health care provider of your recent travel.

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