With the announcement yesterday of 41 locally transmitted Zika virus infections in Singapore, health officials in at least two Asian countries have responded to the issue.
In Taiwan, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) raised the travel notice level for the country to Level 2: Alert for Zika virus on August 29, 2016.Pregnant women and women planning pregnancy are advised to postpone their trips to areas where Zika virus is active, travelers visiting areas with ongoing Zika transmission are advised to avoid mosquito bites, and people returning from Zika-affected areas are advised to follow the “2226 Principle”.
The “2226 Principle” is after leaving the affected areas to prevent Zika transmission, which specifies that female travelers are urged to postpone pregnancy 2 months after their return regardless whether they develop suspected Zika symptoms, and male travelers, if they do not develop suspected Zika symptoms, are urged to avoid sex or use condoms correctly for 2 months after their return from an affected-area, and if they develop suspected Zika symptoms, they are urged to avoid sex or use condoms correctly for 6 months after their return.
In Hong Kong, the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) is closely monitoring 41 additional local cases of Zika Virus Infection in Singapore, and urged the public to adopt strict anti-mosquito measures and safe sex during travel. Pregnant women and those planning pregnancy should not travel to affected areas.
“In view of the recent first imported case in Hong Kong, we are facing risks of importation of cases. All sectors should step up efforts on mosquito control and members of the public should use insect repellents to protect themselves, their families and the community,” a CHP spokesman said.