Zika virus infection in 18 travellers returning from Surinam and the Dominican Republic, The Netherlands, November 2015-March 2016
Duijster, Janneke W.
van Genderen, Perry J. J.
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PURPOSE: We report 18 cases of confirmed Zika virus (ZIKV) infection in travellers returning to the Netherlands from Surinam (South America, bordering northern Brazil) and the Dominican Republic. METHODS: In a multi-centre study, we collected epidemiological, virological and clinical characteristics, as well as data on travel history, underlying illness and laboratory results of the 18 imported ZIKV infection cases using a standardised form. RESULTS: Most cases had a self-limiting course of disease, two patients developed complications, one had Guillain-Barré and another had severe thrombocytopenia. Four patients had underlying illness. One of the reported cases was pregnant. Three of 13 patients tested had a weak-positive result for dengue IgM. The majority of patients were born in Suriname and/or visiting friends and relatives (VFR). CONCLUSIONS: Providing pre-travel advice among travellers, especially VFR travellers, is needed to enhance the use of preventive measures against ZIKV infection. Further evidence on health risks associated with ZIKV infection is urgently needed.