'I could barely walk': Manitoba Zika patient recounts experience
Sarah Plowman, CTV Winnipeg
Published Friday, April 15, 2016 11:44AM CST
Last Updated Friday, April 15, 2016 6:05PM CST
A virus linked to birth defects in Brazil and Latin America has reached Manitoba.
Health authorities have confirmed Manitoba’s first two cases of Zika virus. Both Manitobans recently travelled to countries where the virus is widespread.
Krishna Armogan has fond memories of visiting his father in Guyana last month, but the souvenir he brought back to Winnipeg isn't an experience he wants to share.
"I could barely walk. My shoulders, neck, my spine, everything from head to toe," he said.
Armogan thinks he contracted Zika virus on the last day of his trip.
A week after experiencing symptoms, he's back to work teaching.
There's no medication for Zika virus.
"I'm not afraid. I've gone through way too much to be afraid. I'm trusting in the medical system that I can just do my normal thing,” Armogan said.
Zika is now widespread in South America and the Caribbean.
This week, U.S. health officials confirmed the link between Zika and microcephaly, a birth defect causing brain damage. A lot questions remain.
“What is the level of risk? What is the full spectrum? Are there other defects? Are there non-brain defects? Are there other learning problems that we'll see with kids later on in life?” said Sonja Rasmussen, director of the division of public health information dissemination at the Centre for Disease Control.
Health Manitoba says the risk level for other Manitobans to contract Zika is very low. The mosquitoes carrying the virus can't survive here.
“The mode of transmission is mosquito and sexual and blood transfusion. We should mention that as well.
Not transmitted any other way,” said Dr. Elise Weiss, deputy chief provincial public health officer.
“But it's not transmitted in any other way, so there's no need for a quarantine. There's no need for an isolation, or anything like that.”
Although public health officials say there's no reason to quarantine the two people who've contracted the virus, they urge people to take precautions.
Manitoba health recommends pregnant women avoid travelling to Zika-affected areas. Women who have been to Zika-affected counties and planning pregnancy should delay it for two months.
Men returning from Zika-affected areas should use condoms or avoid sex
For Armogan, who's been battling cancer for four years, he wants people put their health first and see a doctor if they notice any Zika-like symptoms.
"Maybe they would find cures for them, because there is no cure right now. You would just have to ride it out,” he said.
For more information about Zika virus, contact Health Links at 204-788-8200 or 1-888-315-9257, or visit the Manitoba Health website.