SEOUL – South Korea on Tuesday reported the country’s first case of the Zika virus, a mosquito-borne disease that has been linked to birth defects and other health issues.
A 43-year-old man who recently returned from Brazil was diagnosed with the virus after suffering fever, muscle pain and rash, according to a statement from the state-run Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.
The tropical disease, which has become epidemic in Latin America and the Caribbean, usually causes a mild illness. But the World Health Organization last month declared the explosive spread of Zika in the Americas to be a global emergency, due to its link to the spike in the number of babies born with abnormally small heads and the rise in a rare neurological syndrome that can cause paralysis and death.
The virus has so far triggered outbreaks in more than 40 countries.