Danish Man Tests Positive for Zika Virus After Trip to Central, South America

PHOTO: A female Aedes aegypti mosquito acquires a blood meal on the arm of a researcher at the Biomedical Sciences Institute in the Sao Paulos University in Sao Paulo, Jan. 18, 2016.PlayAndre Penner/AP Photo
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A Danish man who returned home from a trip to Ecuador, Brazil and Mexico has tested positive for Zika, a mosquito-borne virus that has been linked to thousands of birth defects in babies born in Brazil, Danish health officials said today.

An Aarhus University student in his mid-20s has traveled for two months as a backpacker in Ecuador, Brazil and Mexico, the places where the virus had been rapidly spreading, officials said.

The patient, who arrived home from Mexico a week ago, reported severe flu-like symptoms, including high fever, muscle and joint pains, Danish officials said. He was tested at an Aarhus University clinic and is recovering without any complications and will be released from hospital later today, Dr. Lars Jorgen Ostergaard, head of the infectious disease department, told ABC News.

There is no vaccine or medication for Zika virus.

“There is virtually no risk of acquiring Zika virus in Denmark at this time,” Ostergaard said, “as the virus cannot spread by casual contact with an infected person and mosquitoes are not active in Scandinavia’s cold winter months.”

But Ostergaard said he advised his patient not to have unprotected sex for the next two months, to be sure the virus would not be spread.

"It’s a must, as there is a possibility that on rare occasions, Zika virus might be transmitted through sex," he said.

When asked if the patient had traveled through the U.S., the doctor confirmed the patient did not enter the United States.

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