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Second Zika virus case confirmed in Taiwan

2016/05/21 21:18:40

CDC Deputy Director Chou Jih-haw

Taipei, Jan. 19 (CNA) A Thai national has been confirmed to be infected with the mosquito-borne Zika virus, becoming the second imported Zika virus case in Taiwan, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said Saturday.

CDC Deputy Director Chou Jih-haw (周志浩) said the 34-year-old man arrived in Taiwan to work on Thursday and had developed chills even before boarding the plane.

Health officials took a blood sample after he arrived at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, and his manpower brokerage firm helped him get treatment at a hospital. He was confirmed to have been infected with the Zika virus Saturday afternoon.

Taiwan detected its first Zika virus case -- a Thai man coming to work in Taiwan -- in January. The individual was stopped at the airport with a fever.

Chou said both Thai nationals came from Udon Thani in northern Thailand.

The latest case no longer has any symptoms, the CDC said. He was released from the hospital Friday and is now resting in the dormitory of a factory in central Taiwan. The CDC has advised him not to go out for 10 days.

Chou said the CDC and local health authorities have sent people to the factory to root out any breeding grounds for mosquitoes, check the concentration of mosquitoes in the area, and distribute mosquito nets and mosquito repellents.

The CDC has listed the Zika virus as a second-category notifiable infectious disease, meaning that doctors should notify the CDC of suspected cases within 24 hours.

The symptoms of the Zika virus include fevers, mild headaches, skin rashes, joint pain and conjunctivitis.

Meanwhile, the agency has updated its travel advisory to alert for Thailand in view of the spreading outbreak based on its three-level system -- watch, alert and warning -- in order of severity.

It advised pregnant women to refrain from traveling to Thailand for the time being. Visitors should take precautions against mosquitoes and use condoms when they have sex within 28 days after leaving the outbreak areas, the CDC said.

(By Chang Ming-hsuan and Lilian Wu)