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First Case of Zika Virus Infection in a Returning Canadian Traveler

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  • Provincial Laboratory for Public Health, Calgary, Alberta, Canada; Alberta Health Services, Calgary, Alberta, Canada; National Microbiology Laboratory; Public Health Agency of Canada, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada; University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada; University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

A woman who recently traveled to Thailand came to a local emergency department with a fever and papular rash. She was tested for measles, malaria, and dengue. Positive finding for IgM antibody against dengue and a failure to seroconvert for IgG against dengue for multiple blood samples suggested an alternate flavivirus etiology. Amplification of a conserved region of the non-structural protein 5 gene of the genus Flavivirus yielded a polymerase chain reaction product with a matching sequence of 99% identity with Zika virus. A urine sample and a nasopharygeal swab specimen obtained for the measles investigation were also positive for this virus by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. Subsequently, the urine sample yielded a Zika virus isolate in cell culture. This case report describes a number of novel clinical and laboratory findings, the first documentation of this virus in Canada, and the second documentation from this region in Thailand.

Author Notes

* Address correspondence to Kevin Fonseca, Provincial Laboratory of Public Health, 3030 Hospital Drive NW, Calgary, Alberta, Canada. E-mail: kevin.fonseca@albertahealthservices.ca

Authors' addresses: Kevin Fonseca, Danielle Zarra, Kanti Pabbaraju, Sallene Wong, and Raymond Tellier, Provincial Laboratory for Public Health, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, E-mails: kevin.fonseca@albertahealthservices.ca, danielle.zarra@albertahealthservices.ca, kanti.pabbaraju2@albertahealthservices.ca, sallene.wong@albertahealthservices.ca, and raymond.tellier@albertahealthservices.ca. Michael Drebot and Robbin Lindsay, National Microbiology Laboratory, Public Health Agency of Canada, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, and University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, E-mails: mike.drebot@phac-aspc.gc.ca and robbin.lindsay@phac-aspc.gc.ca. Judy MacDonald, Bonnie Meatherall, and Patricia Webster, Alberta Health Services, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, E-mails: judy.macdonald@albertahealthservices.ca, blmeathe@ucalgary.ca, and patricia.webster@albertahealthservices.ca. Bonnie Meatherall, Judy MacDonald, Kevin Fonseca, and Raymond Tellier, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

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