Zika hit harder than expected in Canada

Canadian tourists who were infected with the Zika virus had more severe symptoms than expected on their return, according to a study by Quebec researchers.

The Journal of the Canadian Medical Association writes that Zika was diagnosed as often as dengue fever among tourists returning from Central America, South America or the Caribbean.

The researchers studied the files of some 1,120 tourists who visited one of the seven Canadian Travel Medicine Network clinics across the country, including Quebec, between October 2015 and September 2016. Forty-one patients were suffering from Zika, 41 Dengue and 23 chikungunya, three diseases transmitted by the bite of mosquitoes.

Nearly 60% of Zika-infected travelers were women, 79% of whom were of reproductive age. 10% of these infections resulted in serious complications, compared with none for dengue and chikungunya.

During the acute phase of the disease, 88% of patients with Zika had skin irritation and 80% had fever.

In particular, researchers from McGill University, Université de Montréal and Saint-Luc Hospital contributed to the survey.

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