Ontario’s chief medical officer of health has confirmed the province’s first case of the Zika virus.
Dr. David Williams said Friday that the patient is a person who had recently travelled to Columbia, but provided no further details.
The risk to Ontarians remains “very low, as the mosquitoes known to transmit the virus are not established in Canada and are not well-suited to our climate,” Dr. Williams said.
Since the first cases emerged last May in Brazil, there have been numerous infections reported in South and Central America, Mexico, and the Caribbean. Until now, the only cases in Canada have been in British Columbia, Alberta, and Quebec. All of those cases involved travellers who had returned home infected.
Most people who contract the infection have no symptoms, but some experience fever, joint pain, rash and red eyes.
However, the virus has been potentially linked in Brazil to more than 4,400 cases of abnormally small heads in infants born to women who may have been infected while pregnant, as well as cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome, a neurological condition that can cause muscle weakness or even partial paralysis.