Health officials in China have reported an additional imported, or travel-associated Zika virus case on the Mainland today. This brings the total of imported cases in China to three.

Aedes aegypti/CDC
Aedes aegypti/CDC

The National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) and General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of the People’s Republic of China say the male patient, a 38-year-old man from Yiwu, Zhejiang, traveled to Fiji and Samoa in a tour group on February 2.

He left and traveled on Fiji Airways flight FJ 391 which arrived at Hong Kong on February 14. He then returned to the Mainland via Hong Kong on the same day. He was subsequently found to have fever and skin rash by the Shenzhen Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau at Huanggang on the same day.

On February 15, the patient returned to Yiwu, Zhejiang where he was hospitalized for isolation and management the next day.  The case was laboratory confirmed by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention today.

In Hong Kong, the Port Health Office has stepped up inspection in the Boundary Control Points (BCPs) and airport to maintain strict environmental hygiene with effective mosquito control. Port Health Inspectors have reinforced training for contractors of BCPs, including the airport, harbor ports and ground crossings, on port hygiene and pest control for effective vector prevention. Health promotion in BCPs have been enhanced through pamphlets and posters to alert travelers to necessary measures against Zika.

“Routine health surveillance on body temperature of inbound travelers at all BCPs is ongoing. Suspected cases will be referred to healthcare facilities for follow-up. Yet, at present, around 70 to 80 per cent of infected people are asymptomatic and most can recover fully. Therefore, we again urge those arriving from Zika-affected areas to apply insect repellent for 14 days upon arrival to reduce the risk of transmission,” the spokesman added.