A 24-year-old man travelling from Thailand has been confirmed as Taiwan’s first case of the Zika virus, reported the Ministry of Health and Welfare yesterday. The man was detected by workers at Taoyuan International Airport’s fever screening station on January 10th, with further tests coming out positive for the disease.
Having lived in north Thailand for the previous three months, the man had come to Taiwan to work. He’s now being treated at a local hospital. Two others travelling with him from Thailand were also tested, but found negative for Zika.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Zika is a second category notifiable infectious disease, requiring for doctors to report cases within 24 hours.
CDC has issued an “alert” advisory for Zika in Central and South America after its fast spread in the regions late last year, as well as the Caribbean. Meanwhile, a “watch” advisory has been given for Cambodia, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, and the Maldives.
Other confirmed cases of Zika have been reported in Africa’s Cabo Verde and the aforementioned “watch” places. In addition, “imported” patients carrying the disease have been detected in Europe, Canada, and the US.
Symptoms of Zika are fever, headache, skin rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis. The disease is also suspected to be linked to cases of microcephaly in Brazil and Hawaii. However, the Epidemic Intelligence Center claims the connection between the two conditions has not been confirmed.
[Images via Pan American Health Organisation]