Bratislava, March 2 (TASR) – The first case of a patient infected with the Zika virus has been confirmed in Slovakia, Health Minister Viliam Cislak told a news conference on Wednesday.
This confirmation came from a virology laboratory in Hamburg. The infected patient is a woman who was admitted into hospital in Presov last week after returning from South Africa.
The patient was released from hospital in a good condition last Friday (February 26). “She doesn’t have to be isolated,” explained Cislak, adding that there is no threat to anybody. Zika isn’t the kind of virus that could spread via air. “Its symptoms are similar to those of flu,” said Cislak. The woman has been told that she shouldn’t become pregnant. She’s been prohibited from donating blood and should also be cautious in terms of sexual contact.
Zika is a virus transmitted by mosquitoes, specifically the yellow fever mosquito (Aedes aegypti). The species isn’t generally found in Europe. The virus can be transmitted from mother to child via the placenta. Cases of transmission via sexual intercourse have also been confirmed, as well as via blood transfusions.
Symptoms are usually mild and last between two-seven days. The main ones include increased temperatures, aching joints, the swelling of mainly smaller joints on hands and feet and general flu-like symptoms. The incubation period is three-twelve days. Treatment of symptoms concerns taking regularly available medication against pain and fever and drinking sufficient amounts of water. There is no specific treatment yet.
In its travel advice the Foreign and European Affairs Ministry recommends that women should reconsider planned journeys to affected areas. This applies to South and Central American countries, including the Caribbean region and Cape Verde Islands. Many experts think that Zika is responsible for an increase in the number of babies born with abnormally small heads, a defect known as microcephaly.