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Zika case No. 7 confirmed in Japanese returnee from Latin America

Kyodo

Another Zika infection has been diagnosed in a man who just got back from Latin America, marking the nation’s seventh confirmed case of the mosquito-borne virus this year, the health ministry said Friday.

The man, described as an Osaka resident in his 30s, returned to Japan on Monday after spending about two weeks in areas where the infectious disease is spreading but did not stay in Brazil, the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry said.

He was diagnosed on Thursday by an Osaka medical institution after developing a fever and rash, and is recovering at home.

The Zika virus usually causes mild symptoms, such as skin rashes and headaches, but it is also suspected of causing a condition called microcephaly, in which babies are born with abnormally small or undeveloped heads, if contracted by women during pregnancy. Brazil has seen a rapid increase in such cases.

To prevent the disease from spreading, the ministry has been calling on those returning from Zika-endemic areas to use bug repellent for about two weeks to prevent mosquito bites.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), travelers returning from areas with Zika should take measures to prevent mosquito bites for three weeks to avoid spreading the virus to uninfected mosquitos — even if they do not feel sick.