A baby born with small head due to Zika virus (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – An American woman was infected with the Zika virus during her stay in the Philippines in January.

This is the country’s first case since 2012.

Health Secretary Janette Garin said she was informed by the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that the patient stayed in the Philippines for four weeks in January and developed symptoms in her last week before returning home.

The two nations are working together to find the source of the infection.

The last case recorded in the Philippines was a 15-year-old boy. He recovered in three weeks.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) also announced the first Zika case in Laos, the 41 st country to record the virus since the beginning of this year.

Zika is mainly transmitted through the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, which also carries dengue fever. The virus has been linked to microcephaly, a condition that causes babies to be born with unusually small heads and, in the vast majority of cases, brain damage. Currently there is no vaccine or treatment for Zika.

The virus is characterised by a low-grade fever (from 37.5 degree Celsius to 38 degree Celsius). The symptoms are similar to other arbovirus infections such as dengue and include skin rashes, muscle pain, joint pain with possible swelling (notable in small joints in hands and feet), headaches, conjunctivitis and malaise. The incubation period is usually between three and 12 days.-VNA