A Vietnamese woman has tested positive for the Zika virus while traveling in Japan, Vietnam’s General Department of Preventive Medicine confirmed on Tuesday.
The female patient, 40, was diagnosed with the mosquito-borne virus on September 9 while she was on a holiday in Tokyo, according to the department.
According to Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare, the patient was bitten by a mosquito in Vietnam on September 5 and later revealed symptoms including skin rashes, high fever, muscle and joint pain, and headaches before traveling to Japan.
She then had her health checked at a local hospital in Tokyo on September 9 and was found to be carrying the virus.
After receiving medical treatment, she is in a stable condition, doctors said.
Currently, Vietnam is waiting for Japan to confirm her identity and control the area where she most likely contracted the viral disease.
The female patient is the fourth Vietnamese infected with Zika since April this year, according to the General Department of Preventive Medicine.
On August 3, the health ministry confirmed a 27 year-old male patient, from Son Ha District in the south-central province of Phu Yen, tested positive to the virus.
Two other women were both diagnosed with the virus in late March. One patient in the central beach city of Nha Trang was a 64-year-old woman, while another in Ho Chi Minh City was 33 years old and pregnant at the time.
According to the General Department of Preventive Medicine under the Ministry of Health, the Zika virus in Vietnam is less infectious and less likely to cause microcephaly than its counterpart in the Americas.
The Zika virus is caused by a virus transmitted primarily by Aedes mosquitoes, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
People with Zika virus disease can have symptoms including a mild fever, skin rashes, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, malaise or a headache that normally last for two to seven days, the WHO said.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on its website that the virus can be transmitted via two species of mosquitoes, the Aedes aegypti and the Aedes albopictus, both infamous for spreading dengue, chikungunya, and other known viruses.
According to the WHO, there is scientific consensus that the Zika virus is a cause of microcephaly in infants, a birth defect characterized by unusually small heads that can result in developmental problems, and Guillain-Barré syndrome – a neurological disorder that could lead to paralysis and death.
Links to other neurological complications are also being investigated, WHO added.