CSBS News Desk
China has confirmed its first case of the Zika virus in a man who had recently traveled to South America.
Hong Kong’s Department of Health, said on Wednesday in a statement in Beijing that the infected Chinese man had travelled to Venezuela and displayed symptoms including a fever, headache and dizziness on Jan. 28.
The statement said the man returned home on Feb. 5, via Hong Kong and Shenzhen.
It disclosed that the infected man had been quarantined at a hospital in his hometown since Feb. 6, adding that he was recovering with normal body temperature and a fading rash.
It added that the Hong Kong’s Port Health Office had stepped up inspections at the airport, in response and reinforced training for boundary control inspectors.
It, however, said no cases of the virus in Hong Kong had been reported, so far.
The statement said further that there was a risk that Zika virus could be spread locally if it was introduced to Hong Kong, because Aedes Albopictus mosquitoes, which transmit the virus, live there.
Meanwhile, Ko Wing-man, Hong Kong Secretary for Food and Health, told reporters that the bureau was seeking details of the man’s travel history, from the mainland authorities because he had transited through the city.
He said the risk of contracting the virus through human contact was low, so the bureau was not worried about the spread of the illness in Hong Kong.
Wing-man said even at that, the authorities were monitoring the situation closely.
Zika has spread quickly in South and Central America and the Caribbean, with Brazil the worst affected country.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared an international health emergency on Feb. 1 over the virus, citing concern over a possible link with a rise in cases of microcephaly.
Microcephaly is a birth defect characterised by an abnormally small head that can result in developmental problems.
Most infected people have no symptoms or mild ones including fever and skin rashes.