The first recorded case of the Zika virus for 2016 has been diagnosed in Queensland as the growing outbreak of the virus sweeps the globe.
According to The Courier-Mail, a woman returned from El Salvador in December to Queensland while carrying the infection. It is believed she fell ill soon after arriving home, sought medical attention, and tested positive early this year for the virus in blood tests.
The unidentified woman has been discharged from hospital and is recovering at home on the Gold Coast. There is no treatment for the virus and health authorities have stated that there is no risk of the virus spreading to her family or others in the community. Health authorities have reportedly tracked the woman’s movement through the Queensland community while infectious.
The breed of mosquito that can harbour Zika is not endemic in the southeast corner of the state but does exist in northern Queensland. Health Minister Cameron Dick has announced a number of measures in response to the Zika virus threat, which has been linked to brain damage in babies.
Resources to test for the virus has been given to Pathologists in Townsville, Cairns and tropical north Queensland, with results also being made available in a shorter time frame.
A public health campaign will also be launched surrounding the virus, with health warnings for travel to Asia and South America to be implemented.
The World Health Organisation has recently declared the Zika virus a global health emergency.