Canadian Traveler Affected with Zika Virus

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Updated: Mar 28, 2022
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After traveling to Thailand, a woman was experiencing complications of a fever and a papular rash. She was tested at an emergency department for diseases such as malaria and dengue. There they found a positive for IgM antibody that acts against dengue. A urine sample as well as a nasopharyngeal swab was obtained that helped to analyze what was happening with the individual. A 99% positive match sequence for Zika virus was identified along with positives for measles from the swab (Fonseca, 2014).

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This case study is known to be the first documented study of the virus for Canada and the second documented for Thailand (Fonseca,2014).

Mosquito-borne diseases are known to be found in many tropical locations. These diseases are endemic diseases that are highly prevalent such as, both malaria and dengue. Researchers detected Zika virus in a woman who traveled from Canada. The traveler had a case of dengue fever based off of lab results. Even though the results showed a positive for dengue, the results also showed a possible for another flavivirus infection.

The patient was traveling to Thailand with family and friends for a wedding. After she left Canada she flew to Bangkok and stayed there for less than 10 days. There, the traveler noticed she had been bitten by mosquitoes a few times. She stayed five days at Kata Beach, Phuket Island and also experience another moderate amount of bites from mosquitoes, and she received more bites when she returned to a hotel in Bangkok. She felt irritable on her flight back to Canada but did not show signs of fever or chills until later on in her illness. She developed sore and oral blisters as well.

This case was a one-person case and was handled by professionals at an emergency department. Blood, nasopharyngeal, and urine samples were collected from the host to test for measles and other possible diseases (Fonseca, 2014). Lab results showed that the hemoglobulin levels were normal but a low platelet count. The blood lab smear showed negative for malaria so that was ruled out, the cultures also showed no sign of bacterial pathogens. Blood samples were taken from this individual and tested positive for dengue infections, but inconsistency of IgG and IgM levels made them further their investigation of the infection. The inconsistencies led them to believe that this disease was another flavivirus infection. A reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction was used to target the conserved nonstructural protein 5 gene region across numerous species of this genus (Fonseca, 2014). This polymerase chain reaction test showed bands for a flavivirus infection that was similar to that of the Zika virus of the Asian lineage. The professionals isolated this virus and determined that it was the Zika virus.

There is no true remedy for this flavivirus infection. The virus is self-limiting, so the individual was ill for 10-16 days before her symptoms were resolved. Instead the symptoms of the individual can be treated such as the rashes or fevers. The individual used acetaminophen on the problem areas that were itchy. This product helps soothes itchiness and pain. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one should get plenty of rest and drink fluids to help prevent the body from becoming dehydrated (Zika Virus, 2018). Since there is no remedy one usually has to let their body do the healing on its on to fight the ongoing virus.

The Zika virus originates in the Flaviviridae family and its genus is Flavivirus (Zika virus vectors, 2016). This flavivirus infection is usually caused by a transmission between infected female mosquito and its host. What makes this disease interestingly scary, is it can also be transmitted through sexual intercourse.

Works Cited

Fonseca, K. D.-1. (2014, November). First Case of Zika Virus Infection in a Returning Canadian Traveler. Retrieved from he American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 91(5), 1035-1038:

Zika Virus. (2018, February 07). Retrieved from Center for Disease Control and Prevention:

Zika virus vectors and risk of spread in the WHO European Region [PDF]. (2016). Retrieved from

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Canadian Traveler Affected with Zika Virus. (2019, Nov 07). Retrieved from