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Zika virus

Zika virus infection in travelers returning from the 2016 Olympics and Paralympics in Brazil


The 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil have now ended and the Paralympics are  approaching (September 7-18). Brazil, along with many destinations in the Americas, is experiencing an outbreak of Zika virus. If you see an ill traveler who attended the Olympics or Paralympics, you may want to consider Zika virus infection in your differential diagnosis.

Clinical presentation of Zika virus infection
A majority of Zika infections are asymptomatic. Symptoms most commonly associated with Zika are: fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis; myalgia and headache can also occur.
Remember that mosquito-borne diseases such as malaria are endemic in some areas of Brazil, and fever in a returned traveler to a malaria-endemic area is malaria until proven otherwise. For more information about health risks for travelers to Brazil, visit this US CDC website.

Incubation period for Zika virus infection
The incubation period of Zika virus disease is not clear, but is likely 3-12 days.

Laboratory testing for Zika virus
Refer to the Ontario Public Health Laboratory for guidance on testing for Zika virus.

Risk of sexual transmission
Refer to guidance from PHAC and SOGC on how to prevent the sexual transmission of Zika virus.

Management of pregnant women
Refer to the SOGC for guidance on the management of pregnant women with suspected Zika virus infection or exposure to Zika virus, including travel to a Zika-endemic area.

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