Nova Scotia has identified its first confirmed case of Zika virus.
A female traveller acquired the virus while visiting a country affected by the outbreak. The woman was not hospitalized and has since recovered.
“The risk of Zika to Nova Scotians and Canadians is extremely low. We are not aware of any cases transmitted by mosquitos to humans that originated in Canada,” said Deputy Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Frank Atherton. “Nova Scotians travelling to Zika-affected countries, especially women who are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, should take preventative measures to reduce their exposure to mosquitos.”
The Zika virus is primarily passed to people through mosquitos that carry the virus. The risk of Zika-infected mosquitos in Nova Scotia is very unlikely, as these mosquitos are unable to survive in our climate.
The virus has been transmitted through sexual activity but that is very rare. Upon their return from a Zika-affected country, men should use condoms for six months, with any partner who could become pregnant. Women who return from a Zika-affected area should wait at least two months before trying to become pregnant.
Nova Scotians travelling to a Zika virus affected area can protect themselves by:
— using insect repellent with DEET or Icaridin on exposed skin
— sleeping under a bed net if accommodations are outdoors or not enclosed
— booking accommodations that are well-screened or completely enclosed with air conditioning
— covering up with light-coloured clothing, long-sleeves, long pants and shoes, not sandals.
For more information on Zika-affected areas visit www.healthycanadians.gc.ca .