Taiwanese health officials are reporting today the first imported Zika virus infection in the country since testing began in 2003. The patient is a 24-year-old male from northern Thailand.

China-Taiwan map/Rintojiang
China-Taiwan (blue) map/Rintojiang

Health officials say the individual was stopped by the quarantine officer at the fever screening station upon his arrival in Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport. Infection with Zika virus was confirmed in the case through testing his blood samples by the Taiwan CDC laboratory. This is the first case of Zika virus infection detected among the 50,000 samples collected by the Taiwan CDC laboratory since 2003.

According to the patient, prior to his trip to Taiwan, he was in Thailand for the past three months and it was his first visit to Taiwan, When he was in Thailand on January 9, he already experienced symptoms such as fever and headache. After specimens were collected from him, he was tested negative for dengue virus by the dengue NS1 rapid test and his specimens were submitted to the Taiwan CDC laboratory for further testing. He was then confirmed to have Zika virus infection.

The other two travelers traveling with him are his coworkers who both reside in northern Thailand as well. Although one of them experienced sore threat and headache, the symptoms subsided after seeking medical attention. The other one of them experienced a mild sore throat and mucus. Both of them were tested negative for Zika virus and dengue virus. As of now, the case is currently stable and recovering.

Taiwan CDC is raising the travel notice level for six countries in Central and South America and Southeast Asia.