HealthDay News — A case of Zika virus infection has been confirmed in a traveler who returned to the United States from Costa Rica, according to a research letter published online Feb. 10 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Lin H. Chen, MD, from Harvard Medical School in Cambridge, Mass., describes a 55-year-old male who presented with rash, conjunctivitis, and arthralgia on Jan. 2 to 3, 2016. He had traveled to Costa Rica from Dec. 19 to 26, 2015, and reported having many mosquito bites. Starting Dec. 30, 2015, the patient reported mild myalgia and subjective fever, followed by a red rash on the trunk and arms, redness of the face and eyes, headache, and arthralgia.

Chen notes that assays for immunoglobulin M (IgM) and IgG antibodies were negative for rubeola. In repeated serologic testing, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay results were positive for IgM antibodies to dengue virus and negative for IgG antibodies to dengue virus. On Jan. 26, 2016, positive IgM antibodies to Zika and dengue virus were identified. Plaque reduction neutralization antibody test titers were >5,120 for Zika virus and <10 for dengue virus. On day 27 of the illness, Jan. 25, 2016, the patient had recovered completely.


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Zika virus is probably circulating more widely than has been officially reported in the Americas and illustrates the role of travelers as sentinels for outbreaks and for the potential expansion of pathogens to new geographic areas,” Chen writes.

The author disclosed financial ties to Shoreland.

Reference

1. Chen LH. Zika Virus Infection in a Massachusetts Resident After Travel to Costa Rica: A Case Report. Ann Intern Med. 2016;doi:10.7326/L16-0075.