Teenager near Tokyo found to have Zika virus after return from Brazil

A state health worker shows off a test tube with mosquito larvae during a fumigation as part of preventive measures against the Zika virus and other mosquito-borne diseases in Merida, Mexico, February 4, 2016. REUTERS/Lorenzo Hernandez

TOKYO (Reuters) - A male teenager near Tokyo was found to have been infected with Zika virus after a visit to Brazil, Japan’s first case of the infection since the virus started spreading widely in Latin America last year, the Health Ministry said on Thursday.

The man stayed in Brazil for 12 days through Feb. 20 and ran a fever on his last day. He also came out in a rash a few days after his return, but is now in a stable condition without a fever and is resting at home, the ministry said.

“Japan at the moment is not in a season when mosquitoes are active. Risk of infection spreading is extremely low,” the ministry said in a statement.

The man in Kanagawa prefecture, southwest of the Japanese capital, is the fourth case of Zika virus infection in Japan. Three Japanese were found positive in 2013 and 2014 after returning from French Polynesia and Thailand.

Much remains unknown about Zika, including whether the virus actually causes microcephaly.

Brazil is investigating the potential link between Zika infections and more than 4,000 suspected cases of microcephaly, a condition marked by abnormally small head size that can result in developmental problems.

Reporting by Tetsushi Kajimoto and Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by Alison Williams