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Canadian tourist contracts rare virus after Phuket, Bangkok trip

PHUKET: A Canadian woman has been diagnosed with a rare virus after she returned from a trip to Bangkok and Phuket, according to public health authorities.


Bangkok Post

Saturday 1 June 2013, 10:43PM


The woman from the western province of Alberta tested positive for Zika virus, the first confirmed infection with the virus in Canada, Global News reported. 

The 45-year-old woman reported having sustained numerous bug bites during a trip to Bangkok and Phuket in January. The Zika virus is usually spread by mosquitoes. 

She became ill after returning to Canada but recovered after about two and a half weeks. However, it took considerably longer to figure out that she had been infected with the Zika virus, so named after it was first isolated from an infected monkey in the Zika Forest of Uganda in 1947.

 The virus did not make its first appearance outside Africa until 2007 when a case was reported in Micronesia. Health authorities said the case serves as a reminder to doctors and laboratories that travellers may bring home some rare pathogens that are not picked up by regular diagnostic tests. 

Three days after the traveller returned to Alberta, she became feverish, nauseous with vomiting and extremely fatigued. She also reported having blisters in her mouth. Later she developed a severe backache and a rash on her extremities, including her palms.

At that point, she visited a hospital emergency department, where she was tested for a number of illnesses, includingdengue fever, malaria and measles. The tests came back negative.

The woman was finally diagnosed after the US Centers for Disease Control laboratory at Fort Collins, Colorado, found antibodies in her to Zika virus. Though she had been travelling with family and they too reported having been bitten, none of them fell ill. 

Read the original story here.

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