Surveillance of Zika virus

Learn how Zika virus is monitored.

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How many cases are there of Zika virus in Canada?

As of May 26, 2016, 106 travel-related cases and 1 locally acquired case through sexual transmission have been reported in Canada.

The case counts will be updated on Thursdays. The next update will be made on Thursday, June 2, 2016.

The overall risk in Canada is very low. Mosquitoes known to transmit the virus are not established in Canada and are not well-suited to our climate.

Current evidence suggests that Zika virus is likely to persist in:

  • the Americas
  • the South and Western Pacific
  • some African and Asian countries

There is ongoing low risk to Canadians travelling to countries with reported locally acquired Zika virus.

Zika virus cases in Canada, as of May 26, 2016
Country Locally acquired through sexual transmission Travel-related
Canada 1 106

How many cases are there of Zika virus around the world?

The virus was first identified in humans in the 1950s. From 1951 through 1981, evidence of human Zika virus infection was reported from African countries and in parts of Asia.

In 2007, the first major outbreak of Zika virus occurred in Micronesia (Yap island) in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. This was the first time that Zika virus was detected outside of Africa and Asia.

Between 2013 and 2015, several significant outbreaks were noted on islands and archipelagos from the Pacific region. This included a large outbreak in French Polynesia.

In early 2015, Zika virus emerged in South America with widespread outbreaks reported in Brazil and Colombia.

How does Canada monitor Zika virus?

The National Microbiology Laboratory is able to detect the virus and offers testing support to provinces and territories.

As part of their West Nile virus surveillance programs, several provinces and territories conduct mosquito surveillance activities.

In the future, consideration could be given to enhancing mosquito surveillance to detect an incursion of new mosquito species into Canada. This would include those species responsible for Zika virus transmission.

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