A cruise ship passenger has been taken off a cruise ship suffering from the mosquito borne Zika virus.
The man, who has not been identified, was 81 years old and was on a cruise ship in the South Pacific. He had been in good health before the cruise but became feverish and then went into a coma.
He was taken off the ship and admitted to an intensive care unit when found to be suffering from meningoencephalitis, an infection of the brain which causes the brain to swell. In addition, further blood tests revealed he also had the Zika virus.
Following 17 days in intensive care he was taken into a regular room and another 21 days later he was fully recovered.
It is currently thought that the virus can lead to microcephaly which is a birth defect causing babies to have small heads as well as underdeveloped brains and in addition it is thought Zika can also cause Guillain-Barre syndrome which leads to paralysis and can be fatal. Now it appears there may be yet another side effect of the virus.
Although one in five people who contract Zika virus, do not have any symptoms, those women who are pregnant can be at risk of transmitting the virus to a fetus with severe consequences. The World Health Organization has said that there is still no definitive proof that the virus causes neurological disorders but the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is warning pregnant women not to travel to areas where the virus is present. The CDC goes on to say that if a pregnant woman has to travel to these areas, which include over 33 countries in South America and the Caribbean, they should be careful to avoid mosquito bites and not have unprotected sex with a partner who may have the virus as it is now known it can be transmitted that way.