Taiwan reports one more imported Zika case

2016/10/17 15:14:10 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
Taiwan reports one more imported Zika case

Taipei, Oct. 17 (CNA) Taiwan has confirmed a new imported Zika virus infection, involving a Thai migrant worker, raising the total imported Zika cases to 13 in the country, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported Monday.

According to the CDC, the worker, in his 20s, is the younger brother of another Thai migrant worker who was also confirmed to have contracted Zika Oct. 14. The two brothers came to Taiwan to work Oct. 12.

The younger brother did not show any Zika symptoms when his older brother was found to have developed fever and was intercepted by health authorities at the airport.

The authorities also asked the younger brother to give a pathological sample and they continued to trace him closely until confirming that he had contracted Zika.

The CDC said that in the newly confirmed case, the worker had stayed in Changhwa where he works, and will stay in quarantine until Oct. 20. So far, people around him have not developed Zika-related symptoms, the CDC added.

Taiwan has reported 13 Zika cases this year, all of which have been imported, the CDC said.

Among them, four were from Thailand, two each were from Vietnam and Malaysia, and one each were from Indonesia, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Florida and Singapore, the CDC data shows.

According to the CDC, since 2015, nearly 70 countries and territories around the world have reported indigenous Zika cases.

CDC Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) said that it seems that cases in Southeast Asian countries have still been developing, and due to close exchanges with the region, Taiwan has come under growing threat. Chuang said that Taiwan has reported new Zika cases almost every week recently.

For example, Thailand had reported a total of 392 Zika cases as of Oct. 3, including 39 pregnant women, the CDC said, adding that Southeast Asia has confirmed two microcephaly cases resulting from Zika infection. The CDC warned people planning to visit Zika-affected areas to take proper precautions and suggested that pregnant women or women planning to get pregnant should avoid visiting those areas.

The agency has urged doctors to be alert and to report any Zika-related symptoms to the health authorities as soon as possible.

(By Chen Wei-ting and Frances Huang)
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