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Update on local response to first imported case of Zika Virus Infection in Mainland

     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) today (February 11) reported the latest local response to the first imported case of Zika Virus Infection in the Mainland.

     Upon notification from the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC), the CHP swiftly followed up on more case information, including the local movements and traffic details of the male patient aged 34 during his stay in Hong Kong, for necessary port health response.

     The CHP noted last night (February 10) that, according to the NHFPC's latest information, the patient had travelled from Caracas, Venezuela, to Paris, France, on Air France flight AF 385 on February 2 (Venezuela time). He then travelled from Paris on AF 188 on February 3 (France time) and arrived in Hong Kong at about 6pm on February 4 (Hong Kong time) and transferred to Fuyong, Shenzhen, by ferry at about 8pm on the same day from SkyPier at Hong Kong International Airport. He stayed in Hong Kong International Airport with no other local movements during the short transit period in Hong Kong.

     "Our Port Health Office (PHO) has followed up with the airline and ferry operator concerned, Air France and Chu Kong Air-Sea Union Transportation Company Limited respectively, on necessary disinsection and vector control measures for the aircraft and the vessel concerned. Port Health Inspectors (PHIs) will conduct follow-up inspection when the aircraft and the vessel concerned arrive in Hong Kong next time," a spokesman for the DH said.

     In addition, the PHO has stepped up inspection at the airport, including SkyPier, which provides ferry services for transfer passengers, to maintain strict environmental hygiene with effective mosquito control. PHIs have reinforced training for contractors of boundary control points (BCPs), including the airport, harbour ports and ground crossings, on port hygiene and pest control for effective vector prevention.

     "Zika virus is mainly transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. We again urge those arriving from Zika-affected areas to apply insect repellent for 14 days upon arrival to reduce the risk of transmission. Routine health surveillance on body temperature of inbound travellers at all BCPs is ongoing. Suspected cases will be referred to healthcare facilities for follow-up. Health promotion in BCPs has been enhanced through pamphlets and posters to alert travellers to necessary measures against Zika," the spokesman added.

     The DH has been closely working with the travel industry and stakeholders, especially agents operating tours in Zika-affected areas and personnel receiving travellers in those areas (particularly pregnant women), to regularly update them on the latest disease information and health advice.

Ends/Thursday, February 11, 2016
Issued at HKT 12:11


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