Guatemala: Locally acquired Zika virus infection confirmed
Following earlier reports on Outbreak News Today of local transmission of Zika virus in El Salvador, Mexico and Paraguay, the World Health Organization reports receiving notification of a laboratory-confirmed autochthonous case of Zika virus infection in Guatemala.
The case, who is a resident of the Zacapa department, developed symptoms on 11 November. An investigation is being carried out to detect further cases. The confirmatory testing was performed at the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Fort Collins. Guatemalan health authorities are implementing the corresponding prevention and control activities.
Zika virus is transmitted to human through the same mosquito vector that transmits dengue and chikungunya, the Aedes mosquito.
Zika virus (ZIKV) is a flavivirus related to yellow fever, dengue, West Nile, and Japanese encephalitis viruses; however, ZIKV produces a comparatively mild disease in humans. It was first isolated from an infected rhesus monkey in the Zika Forest of Uganda in 1947.
Until recently, it was relatively rare to see ZIKV outside of Africa and Asia. The virus is transmitted to humans via mosquitoes of the genus Aedes.
Information regarding pathogenesis of ZIKV is scarce but mosquito-borne flaviviruses are thought to replicate initially in dendritic cells near the site of inoculation then spread to lymph nodes and the bloodstream.
Symptoms may include a headache, a maculopapular rash covering the face, neck, trunk, and upper arms,which may spread to the palms and soles. Transient fever, malaise, and back pain may also develop.