Sunday 4 December 2016

Zika in Europe: Danish man tests positive for virus

Thousands in South and Central America have been affected by the virus

Published 27/01/2016 | 07:28

Brazil is one of the countries in South America where the Zika virus has taken hold
Brazil is one of the countries in South America where the Zika virus has taken hold

A Danish tourist has been infected by the Zika virus after visiting southern and central America, Danish hospital officials said.

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The man in his mid-twenties suffered fever, headaches and muscle pain and was tested in the University Hospital in Denmark's second biggest city Aarhus on Tuesday, Professor Lars Ostergaard said.

The doctor said he saw no risk of the disease spreading further in Denmark. "His condition is good, he is recovering and he will be released from the hospital soon," Ostergaard told Reuters.

The mosquito-borne virus has been linked to brain damage in thousands of babies in Brazil. There is no vaccine or treatment for Zika, a close cousin of dengue and chikungunya, which causes mild fever and rash.

An estimated 80 percent of people infected have no symptoms, making it difficult for pregnant women to know whether they have been infected.

Three Britons who travelled to South America have also been infected, health officials said last week.

Health experts say such cases are to be expected in Europe, given the scale of the outbreak in South America and the frequency of international travel.

But Zika is not expected to pose a threat in colder countries since they are not warm enough for the virus-carrying Aedes mosquito to breed.

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