Date
23 October 2017
Alice Ho Miu Ling Nethersole Hospital where the latest patient is in an isolation ward in a stable condition. An aedes aegypti mosquito (inset) is responsible for spreading the Zika Virus. Photo: Wikipedia, Reuters
Alice Ho Miu Ling Nethersole Hospital where the latest patient is in an isolation ward in a stable condition. An aedes aegypti mosquito (inset) is responsible for spreading the Zika Virus. Photo: Wikipedia, Reuters

CHP confirms first imported case of Zika virus this year

Hong Kong authorities have confirmed one more imported case of Zika infection, making it the first of its kind this year and the third since its outbreak in large parts of Latin America and the Caribbean in early 2016.

A 31-year-old woman tested positive for the virus on Wednesday after she visited Ecuador and Peru between April 8 and April 21, according to the Centre for Health Protection (CHP).

The woman, who is not pregnant and has good past health, showed symptoms of headache, sore throat, nausea and vomiting on Friday, the day she returned to her Fortune Plaza home in Tai Po, Headline Daily reports.

After consulting a private doctor the next day, she went to Alice Ho Miu Ling Nethersole Hospital where she was admitted on Monday, CHP said.

The woman said she could not recall any mosquito bites during travel or in Hong Kong. She is in an isolation ward where she is in a stable condition.

CHP controller Dr. Wong Ka-hing said the woman’s travel companions have remained asymptomatic, adding the risk of a community outbreak is low as the woman had mostly stayed home since her return.

Lee Ming-wai, chief pest control officer of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department, said anti-mosquito measures are set to be launched on Thursday in Tai Po.

He said the Ovitrap Index for aedes albopictus, the main infectious vector of the Zika virus, is zero in the district, according to news website hk01.com.

Meanwhile, the Port Health Office on Wednesday introduced a new requirement on disinfection for all inbound aircraft from Zika-affected areas to prevent importation of the disease through infected mosquitoes.

The Zika virus, for which there is no vaccine, is suspected to cause microcephaly, a neurological disorder in which babies are born with smaller than normal heads and brains.

It can be passed to people through the bite of an infected aedes mosquito or through sex.

Hung Fan-ngai, a clinical professor in the University of Hong Kong’s Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, said more individual cases of Zika infection can be expected as the summer approaches but it is unlikely Hong Kong will become a major epidemic center due to the fact aedes mosquitos have never been found here.

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