Background: From the first Zika virus (ZIKV) description, it has progressively widespread worldwide. We analyzed demographic, clinical, microbiologic and travel-related characteristic from returned patients from a ZIKV endemic country in a referral Tropical Medicine Unit.
Method: A prospective cohort study performed in a Spanish referral center with the aim of determining the significant factors associated with confirmed Zika virus (ZIKV) infection.
Results: 817 patients, (56% women, median age 36 [IQR, Interquartile Range: 32-42]) were enrolled. Most had returned from Latin America (n = 486; 59.4%), travelled for tourism (n = 404; 49.4%) and stayed a median of 18 days (IQR: 10-30). 602 (73.6%) presented symptoms, but only 25 (4%) were finally diagnosed with confirmed ZIKV infection (including two pregnant women, without adverse fetal outcomes), 88% (n:22) presented with fever and 92% (n:23) with rash. 56% (n:14) arthralgia and/or myalgia and 28% (n:7) conjunctivitis. The presence of conjunctivitis, fever and rash were associated with an 8.9 (95% CI: 2.2-34.9), 6.4 (95% CI: 1.2-33.3) and 72.3 (95% CI: 9.2-563.5) times greater probability of confirmed ZIKV infection, respectively.
Conclusion: Travel characteristics and clinical presentation may help clinicians to optimize requests for microbiological testing. Diagnosis of arboviriasis in travellers arriving form endemic areas remains a challenge for clinicians, but must be detected for the possible transmission outside endemic areas, where the vector is present.
Keywords: Arbovirus infections; Endemic disease; Travel medicine; Zika virus.
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