A Darwin man who contracted Zika virus after being bitten by a monkey and mosquitos in Bali in 2013 said he was hospitalised with Dengue fever-like symptoms upon returning, namely fever and joint pain.
Daniel Gaunt was 27 and on holidays when he went to the Ubud monkey forest and was bitten by the animal on his right torso.
Mr Gaunt may be the world’s first case of someone becoming infected by monkey bite, as Zika virus normally spreads via mosquitoes.
He said he had been home in Darwin for around three days, and five days after the monkey bite, when he developed a rash on his chest.
Upon seeing his GP, Mr Gaunt was given a second round of Rabies vaccine, but his condition deteriorated and he was quarantined at Royal Darwin Hospital.
“They call it a Dengue-style rash, so when I did present they assumed it was Dengue fever,” he said.
“When I went to the hospital they quarantined me and did testing for it.
“As well as a fever, I also had joint pains and muscle pains, and a bit of vomiting and a high temperature.
“I went in on a Wednesday, and I came out on a Sunday. They ran all sorts of tests.
They couldn’t prove what it was, and because I had been bitten by a monkey they were concerned it was rabies.”
Mr Gaunt was prescribed general antibiotics, and once he was asymptomatic further blood samples were sent to a laboratory in Melbourne.
A month after he recovered, the results came back as Zika virus.