The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) is today  investigating the first imported case of Zika Virus Infection, 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.

Aedes aegypti/CDC
Aedes aegypti/CDC

The patient is a 38-year-old woman with good past health. She has developed joint pain and red eyes since August 20. She has been afebrile all along. She attended the out-patient clinic of a private hospital on August 23 and did not require hospitalization.

Her blood and urine specimens were tested positive for Zika virus upon laboratory testing by the CHP’s Public Health Laboratory Services Branch this evening. She is currently in stable condition. She has been put under isolation in a vector-free (mosquito-free) environment in United Christian Hospital for further management.

Initial epidemiological investigation revealed that the patient had visited Saint Barthelemy in the Caribbean from August 6 to 20 and returned to Hong Kong on August 22. She could recall mosquito bites while in the Caribbean. Her travel collaterals have remained asymptomatic.

The Controller for the CHP, Dr Leung Ting-hung, announced the case in a briefing today. He said, “According to the response system under the ‘Preparedness and Response Plan for Zika Virus Infection’, upon notification and laboratory confirmation of the case, the CHP immediately commenced epidemiological investigations. We have promptly informed the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD).”

“We will report the case to the World Health Organization (WHO) and continue to maintain close liaison with the WHO as well as overseas, neighboring health authorities to closely monitor the latest developments,” Dr Leung said.