A case of Zika virus has been confirmed in Saskatchewan.

The Public Health Agency of Canada confirmed the province's first case of Zika virus on Thursday afternoon.

The positive test result came from a person who had travelled to a Zika-endemic country in the southern hemisphere, the provincial government said in a news release.

Occasional cases of Zika virus in returning travellers are to be expected, the release said. 

Public health officials haven't provided any information about the infected person, or which country the person had visited. They said the person and his or her physician have been notified.

The province's medical health officer, Dr. Saqib Shahab, will be speaking with media on Friday.

The Zika virus is spread by mosquito bites and causes mild infections. There's mounting evidence linking it to a birth defect in Brazil.

Zika infection in pregnant women is associated with a rare condition called microcephaly, in which the head is smaller than normal and the brain doesn't develop properly.

The Aedes aegypti mosquito is the main carrier of the Zika virus. The species is not found in Canada.


  • An earlier version of this story said the Aedes mosquito is not found in Canada. In fact, it's the Aedes aegypti species which is not found in Canada.
    Feb 26, 2016 7:43 AM CT