Zika virus spreading in Europe as 1st person tests positive in Denmark

© Jim Young
One person has tested positive in Denmark for the mosquito-borne Zika virus, which has caused severe birth defects in Latin America, Danish media has reported. The new case comes after Italy, Spain, the UK and Switzerland registered several people infected with the disease.

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A Danish tourist contracted the virus while traveling through South and Central America, where Zika is spreading now. The patient is now being treated at the University hospital in Aarhus, Denmark's second-largest city. 

The Dane arrived at the Department of Infectious Diseases with flu-like symptoms including fever, headache and muscle pain, but later tests revealed that the patient had been infected with the Zika virus.

But the virus is on the rise across the world and several cases have already appeared in Europe. On Tuesday, Italy reported several cases of the virus, saying that all the people infected had recently returned from Latin America and the Caribbean.

In addition, two cases were reported in Spain, three in the UK and two in Switzerland.

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The Zika virus is contracted through mosquito bites and has been detected in human semen, but cannot be spread by human contact. 

Its symptoms are mild and include a fever, rash, joint pain and red, itchy eyes. Pregnant women are most at risk, as the virus has been linked to serious birth defects. The disease has gained international attention in recent weeks because of the increase in infection cases.