Taiwan reports 8th imported case of Zika infection

Taiwan has recorded its eighth imported case of Zika virus infection, in a 63-year-old Taiwanese man who developed the symptoms of fever and headache after returning from Vietnam earlier this month, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said Tuesday.

The man has become the first imported case of Zika infection from that Southeast Asian country, said Liu Ting-ping (劉定萍), director of the CDC's Epidemic Intelligence Center.

Liu noted that Vietnam has reported at least three indigenous cases of Zika infection since April.

With an increase in the number of mosquitoes during the rainy season there, the number of cases of Zika infections is expected to rise.

South Korea, Australia and Israel have all reported imported cases of Zika infection this year, Liu said.

She said that the Taiwanese man from Changhua County traveled with his family to Vietnam's Trà Vinh, a province in the Mekong Delta region of Vietnam Aug. 28-Sept. 4.

He developed the symptoms of fever and headache and sought treatment at a hospital Sept. 6. He went to another hospital two days later after seeing no improvement in his condition.

The patient, confirmed to have been infected with Zika virus, has since been discharged from hospital.

His travel companions and colleagues have not shown any suspicious symptoms so far, Liu added.

According to the CDC, there have been eight confirmed Zika virus infection cases this year, among which, two were from Thailand, and one each from Indonesia, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and Grenadines, Florida, Singapore and Vietnam.

Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), deputy director-general of the CDC, said that adults usually show only mild symptoms if infected, but pregnant women could give birth to deformed or stillborn babies if infected.

He advised people to take anti-mosquito measures if they have to travel to areas infected with the Zika virus, and to follow the "1+6 principle" upon their return -- refrain from donating blood for one month, follow safe sex practices and delay pregnancy for six months.

(By Chang Ming-hsuan and Lilian Wu)
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