Taiwan reports 9th imported case of Zika infection

Taiwan has confirmed a new imported case of Zika virus infection, involving a 51-year-old Taiwanese man who developed the symptoms of fever, conjunctivitis and joint pain after returning from Vietnam in late September, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said Saturday.

The man has become the ninth imported Zika case in Taiwan and the second imported case of the mosquito-borne disease from Vietnam, according to the CDC. The Southeast Asian country has reported at least three indigenous cases of Zika infection since April, it added.

The man, who lives in New Taipei, was confirmed to have been infected with the disease Saturday.

He developed symptoms of fever, cough, sore throat, joint pain and conjunctivitis after returning to Taiwan Sept. 23 from Vietnam, the CDC said. These are all common symptoms associated with Zika.

He and his wife traveled to the province of Bac Lieu and Ho Chi Minh City, southern Vietnam, from Sept. 10-23, the CDC said. He later developed a rash and went to a clinic for treatment Sept. 25, it added.

He went to another hospital three days later after seeing no improvement in his condition.

The man, who has been resting at home, will now be kept in quarantine until Oct. 4, the CDC said. His mother and wife, who live with him, have not shown any Zika-related symptoms so far, it added.

Meanwhile, the CDC noted that South Korea, Australia and Israel have all reported imported cases of Zika infection from Vietnam this year.

With an increase in the number of mosquitoes during the rainy season in Southeast Asia, the number of cases of Zika infection is expected to rise, it said.

Taiwan has reported nine confirmed Zika virus infection cases so far this year, all of which were imported cases, according to the CDC.

Among them, two were from Thailand, another two from Vietnam, and one each from Indonesia, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Florida and Singapore, it said.

Since 2015, at least 70 countries and territories around the world have reported indigenous Zika cases, with the situation in Central and South America the most severe, the CDC said.

It 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. Adults usually show only mild symptoms if infected, but pregnant women could give birth to deformed or stillborn babies if infected, it said.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel