CHP closely monitors first imported Zika Virus Infection in Jiangsu
The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (May 12) closely monitoring the first imported case of Zika Virus Infection in Jiangsu, and again urged the public to adopt strict anti-mosquito measures and safe sex during travel. Pregnant women and those planning pregnancy should not travel to Zika-affected areas.
The female patient, aged 28, returned from Ecuador and arrived at Jiangsu on April 28. She reported that she had developed symptoms including skin rash, fever, joint pain and conjunctivitis during the trip. The urine specimen of the patient tested positive for Zika virus. The patient has already been discharged from hospital.
The CHP’s Port Health Office (PHO) introduced a new requirement on aircraft disinsection for all inbound aircraft from Zika-affected areas to prevent importation of diseases through infected mosquitoes.
The PHO has stepped up inspection and health promotion at boundary control points (BCPs) to maintain strict environmental hygiene with effective mosquito control and has been working closely with the travel industry on the latest disease information and health advice.
“Routine health surveillance on body temperature of inbound travellers at all BCPs is ongoing. However, infected persons are mainly asymptomatic. Therefore, we again urge those arriving from Zika-affected areas to apply insect repellent for at least 21 days upon arrival to reduce the risk of transmission,” a spokesman for the CHP said.
The CHP has been working closely with the travel industry and stakeholders, especially agents operating tours in Zika-affected areas and personnel receiving travellers in those areas (particularly pregnant women), to regularly update them on the latest disease information and health advice.
“We are maintaining close liaison with the World Health Organization (WHO) as well as overseas, neighbouring and Mainland health authorities to closely monitor the latest developments,” the spokesman added.
Apart from general measures on preventing mosquito bites and mosquito breeding, the public should take heed of the advice listed below:
A. Travelling abroad
• If going to affected areas, travellers, especially those with immune disorders or severe chronic illnesses, should consult a doctor at least six weeks before the trip and take extra preventive measures to avoid mosquito bites;
• Those arriving from affected areas should apply insect repellent for at least 21 days upon arrival. If feeling unwell, such as having rash or fever, seek medical advice promptly and provide travel details to the doctor;
B. Sexual transmission
• Consider not having sex during travel to affected areas, or else condoms should be used;
• Those arriving from affected areas should consider not having sex for at least six months upon arrival, or else condoms should be used;
C. Pregnant women
• Pregnant women and those planning pregnancy should not travel to affected areas. All travellers including pregnant women should use mosquito repellent containing DEET during travel and for at least 21 days upon arrival;
• Attend antenatal follow-up regularly and provide travel history to the doctor;
• Observe for compatible symptoms and seek medical advice as soon as possible if feeling unwell; and
• Abstain from sex with a partner who has travelled to affected areas, or else condoms should be used throughout the pregnancy.
The public may visit the Zika pages of the CHP and the Travel Health Service, the Outbound Travel Alert page of the Security Bureau, anti-mosquito precautions for women and the WHO’s Zika virus classification for more information.
Ends/Friday, May 12, 2017
Issued at HKT 19:27