There have been 15 cases of the Zika virus in the province of Alberta this year. There were three cases reported on February 2016.
Alberta Health has announced that all 15 cases were contracted after travels to areas where the virus is present in high quantity. Moreover, Alberta’s mosquitoes cannot transmit the virus because it cannot survive in Canada’s climate, according to Metro News.
On February 2016, four cases were discovered, all of them acquired outside the country. It was reported by Global News that those infected did not pose a risk to the public.
“There is a risk to Albertans of contracting Zika virus if they travel to countries where Zika virus circulates,” Alberta Health said on its website.
“There is a low risk to Albertans of contracting Zika virus through sexual contact with either an infected person in an area where Zika virus is circulating or an infected person returning from an area where Zika virus is circulating.”
Alberta Health reiterated that the virus affects humans bitten by an infected mosquito. Other than mosquito bites, there are rare cases in which the virus can be transmitted through sexual contact with an infected person. It can also be acquired through blood transfusions.
The virus can also transmitted to unborn babies of pregnant women. This can cause a rare but serious disorder where infants are born with small heads and underdeveloped brains.
According to Alberta Health, pregnant travelers who return from an area with the virus should consult with a health care provider. This must be accomplished if the body exhibits signs and symptoms similar to those with the virus.
“About 20 per cent of people who are infected will experience fever, headache, conjunctivitis (pink eye), rash, and joint and muscle pain for a few days. Most people who are infected will not have any symptoms,” Alberta Health said.