Cases of the mosquito-transmitted Zika virus have been reported in Germany following confirmation a Danish tourist has also tested positive for the illness.
Authorities said on Wednesday the patient in Denmark is not the first Zika case in Europe, with confirmed cases in both Germany and Britain, according to Romit Jan from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control in Stockholm.
According to n-tv, “multiple German travel returnees” have been diagnosed with the virus, however the World Health Organisation says there have been two German cases of the virus in tourists returning to the country in December.
A WHO statement released on 21 January says: “Between 4 and 12 January 2016, the National IHR Focal Point for Germany notified PAHO/WHO of two cases of ZIKA virus infection in German nationals who had returned from Haiti to Germany in late December."
WHO says samples from both patients were collected and sent for laboratory testing at the national reference centre for tropical diseases in Germany.
Battling the zika virus - in pictures
Battling the zika virus - in pictures
A worker of the Salvadorean Ministry of Health fumigates a house in Soyapango, 6 kilometers from San Salvador, El Salvador. Salvadorean authorities have began a three days campaign of fumigation to reduce the presence of the mosquito that transmit the Zika virus.
A Health Ministry employee fumigates a home against the Aedes aegypti mosquito to prevent the spread of the Zika virus in Soyapango, six km east of San Salvador. Health authorities have issued a national alert against the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, because of the link between the Zika virus and microcephaly and Guillain-BarrÈ Syndrome in foetuses.
AFP PHOTO/Marvin RECINOSMarvin RECINOS/AFP/Getty Images
A pediatric infectologist examines a two-months-old baby, who has microcephaly, on 26 January 2016 in Recife, Brazil.
A woman walks through the fumes as Health Ministry employee fumigate against the Aedes aegypti mosquito to prevent the spread of the Zika virus in Soyapango.
Marvin RECINOS/AFP/Getty Images
A health ministry employee sprays to eliminate breeding sites of the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, which transmits diseases such as the dengue, chicunguna and Zica viruses, in a Tegucigalpa cemetery on January 21, 2016. The medical school at the National Autonomous University of Honduras (UNAH) recommended that women in the country avoid getting pregnant for the time being due to the presence of the Zika virus. If a pregnant woman is infected by the virus, the baby could be born with microcephaly.
AFP PHOTO/Orlando SIERRA
A man walks away from his home with his son as health workers fumigates the Altos del Cerro neighbourhood as part of preventive measures against the Zika virus and other mosquito-borne diseases in Soyapango, El Salvador
A three-months-old, who has microcephaly, in Recife, Brazil.
A pregnant woman waits to be attended at the Maternal and Children's Hospital in Tegucigalpa. The medical school at the National Autonomous University of Honduras (UNAH) recommended that women in the country avoid getting pregnant for the time being due to the presence of the Zika virus. If a pregnant woman is infected by the virus, the baby could be born with microcephaly.
ORLANDO SIERRA/AFP/Getty Images
Army soldiers apply insect repellent as they prepare for a clean up operation against the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which is a vector for transmitting the Zika virus in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
AP Photo/Andre Penner
Workers disinfect the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro to fight the spread of the Zika virus
Dr. Vanessa Van Der Linden, the neuro-pediatrician who first recognized the microcephaly crisis in Brazil, measures the head of a 2-month-old baby with microcephaly in Recife
Mother Mylene Helena Ferreira cares for her son David Henrique Ferreira, 5 months, who has microcephaly, on January 25, 2016 in Recife, Brazil. In the last four months, authorities have recorded close to 4,000 cases in Brazil in which the mosquito-borne Zika virus may have led to microcephaly in infants
U.S. women who are pregnant from traveling to many South American countries
In the last four months, authorities have recorded close to 4,000 cases in Brazil in which the mosquito-borne Zika virus may have led to microcephaly in infants.
Dr. Vanessa Van Der Linden, the neuro-pediatrician who first recognized the microcephaly crisis in Brazil, examines a two-month-old baby with microcephaly on January 27, 2016 in Recife, Brazil
Brazil is one of the countries in South America where the Zika virus has taken hold
Health workers fumigating to combat Zika virus in Lima, Peru. The US have already issued a warning urging pregnant women to avoid travel to Latin American countries
Two-month-old Jose Wesley, born with microcephaly in Brazil, is nursed by his brother
While one of the cases was confirmed by both RT-PCR and serology, the other was confirmed only by serology.
Anhus University Hospital in Denmark said a patient was discovered to have the virus on Tuesday after running a fever, a headache and muscle aches.
The hospital did not release any further detail about the patient said there is little risk of it spreading in Denmark because the mosquito-carrying virus isn’t found in the country.
Public Health England confirmed on Monday "a total of 6 cases have been diagnosed in UK travellers" returning from Colombia, Suriname and Guyana.
They said "a small number of cases have occurred through sexual transmission or by transmission from mother to foetus via the placenta" - the virus does not spread directly from person to person.
A Zika virus case was also confirmed in Sweden last summer, said Sara Rorbecker of the Swedish Public Health Agency.
She said the patient contracted the virus while traveling, adding there was nothing “dramatic” about the case.
Zika virus is not a notifiable disease in the European Union, meaning EU countries are not required to report cases to the ECDC. Therefore, there is wide variation on reporting by member states.
Officials warned on Monday only Canada and Chile would escape the spread of the virus as it extends its spread across the Americas, where thousands of people have been affected by the illness that poses a particular threat to pregnant women.
While Zika itself is not particularly dangerous to most people, there is growing evidence of a link between the virus in pregnant women and birth defects in their children.
There is no known antidote to the virus.Reuse content