A person who lives in Saskatchewan has contracted the latest Canadian case of Zika virus.
On Thursday, the Public Health Agency of Canada reported three new cases of Zika virus confirmed by labs in Saskatchewan, Alberta, and Ontario.
All have been linked to people who travelled to Latin American countries like Mexico, Panama and Brazil, where the mosquitoes that carry the virus are present. Experts say that species of mosquito cannot survive in the Canadian climate, but there is a risk of spreading Zika through sexual intercourse.
No details have been released about which health region the case of Zika virus was reported in Saskatchewan, or where the person may have traveled. The province’s Chief Medical Health Officer is expected to give those details on Friday.
This is said to be Canada’s 14th case since the outbreak started approximately nine months ago. Infected patients in Ontario and B.C. had recently traveled to Colombia and El Salvador.
According to Health Canada, only 25 per cent of people who are infected will actually experience the symptoms which include a rash, mild fever, joint pain and red eyes. Doctors say the virus only stays in the body for about a week.
But it can affect women who contract it while pregnant. Canada issued a travel advisory to pregnant women or women considering becoming pregnant to avoid traveling to 48 countries, mainly in South and Central America. The World Health Organization has declared Zika virus to be an international health emergency due to possible links to birth defects in babies.