A new study published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal), sheds light on the characteristics of the virus Zika from Canadian travelers.
Zika virus, transmitted by mosquito infection, inscribed in the United States in 2013 and became widespread in 2015, led to severe birth defects in children born to infected women. Information about the virus Zika among Canadian travelers is insufficient, and this study aims at a better understanding of the disease.
The researchers analyzed data for one year, provided by the Canadian TravelMedicine network (CanTravNet), dealing with diseases related to the travel of Canadians to other countries and individuals coming to Canada. The study included 1118 travelers who visited one of the seven CanTravNet clinics in major cities in British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec after a trip to Central and South America and the Caribbean.
Among the patients tested in the clinics CanTravNet, 41 (3.7%) infected with Zika, 41 (3.7%) dengue and 23 (2.1%) Chikungunya virus. Almost 60% (24) of travel with Zika women, of which 79% (19) of childbearing age. Three pregnant women were infected, while two were found Guillain-Barré syndrome, or GBS-like syndrome, severe complications Zika.
Zika virus symptoms include rash (88%) and fever (80%) during the acute phase, and about half complained of pain in muscles and joints, and headache. In 1 of 6 travelers Zika virus was observed conjunctivitis.
The study was conducted in October 2015 by September 2016. These data refer to those who returned from North and South America, who asked for help in CanTravNet, and does not apply to all Canadian travelers. Contacting our centers, possibly due to the severe clinical manifestations Zika virus, although one would expect the same symptoms in the cases of dengue and chikungunya, - says Dr. Boggild. - Our clinic primarily serves the adult population, so that pediatric cases are under-represented in the database.
We have recorded the full clinical spectrum of acute viral infection Zika 12% of all such cases, when traveling to Canada from North and South America for 1 year, including the adverse conditions of fetal development and neurological consequences - the study authors write.
They call for the prevention of disease, including a trip delay in the case of pregnancy or planned pregnancy, as well as protection against mosquito bites by using repellents and clothing.