CHP notified of additional imported case of Zika Virus Infection in Guangdong

     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) today (July 11) received notification of an additional imported case of Zika Virus Infection from the National Health and Family Planning Commission and Health and Family Planning Commission of Guangdong Province, and again urged the public to adopt strict anti-mosquito measures and safe sex during travel. Based on recommendations by the World Health Organization, CHP has extended the recommended period of applying insect repellent upon arriving from Zika-affected areas from 14 days to at least 21 days.
     The patient is a 40-year-old woman who lives in Suriname. She arrived at Baiyun International Airport in Guangzhou on July 9, and reported that she had developed skin rash and headache on July 8. The symptoms of her infection are mild and the patient was then hospitalised for isolation and management. She did not pass through Hong Kong.

     To date, 22 imported cases of Zika Virus Infection have been notified in the Mainland.

     The DH's Port Health Office has stepped up inspection at boundary control points (BCPs) to maintain strict environmental hygiene with effective mosquito control. Port Health Inspectors have reinforced training for contractors of BCPs, including at the airport, harbour ports and ground crossings, on port hygiene and pest control for effective vector prevention. Health promotion at BCPs has been enhanced through pamphlets and posters to alert travellers to necessary measures against Zika.
     "Routine health surveillance on the body temperature of inbound travellers at all boundary control points is ongoing. Suspected cases will be referred to healthcare facilities for follow-up. However, 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 at least 21 days upon arrival to reduce the risk of transmission," a spokesman for the DH said.
     The DH has been working closely 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.
     As long as there is international travel, there is always a risk of the introduction of the Zika virus to Hong Kong. As asymptomatic infection is very common and the potential vector, Aedes albopictus, is present locally, there is also the risk of local spread if Zika is introduced to Hong Kong.
     The public should pay special attention to affected areas and observe the health advice and special notes below during travel.
     Locally, no human Zika cases have been reported to the CHP to date.
     To prevent Zika Virus Infection, in addition to general anti-mosquito measures, the DH draws the public's attention to the special notes below:
A. Travelling abroad
* If going to areas with ongoing Zika virus transmission (affected areas), travellers, especially those with immune disorders or severe chronic illnesses, should arrange consultation with a doctor at least six weeks before the trip, and take extra preventive measures to avoid mosquito bites;
* Those arriving from affected areas should apply insect repellent for at least 21 days upon arrival. If feeling unwell, such as having a fever, seek medical advice as soon as possible, and provide travel details to the doctor;
* Travellers should consider not having sex during travel to affected areas, or else condoms should be used;
* Travellers returning from affected areas should consider abstinence for at least two months upon return, or else condoms should be used. If male travellers returning from affected areas are diagnosed with Zika Virus Infection or have compatible symptoms, they should consider abstinence for at least six months upon onset, or else condoms should be used;
B. Pregnant women and those preparing for pregnancy
* Pregnant women and those preparing for pregnancy should not travel to affected areas. Those who must travel should seek medical advice from their doctor before the trip, adopt contraception if appropriate, strictly follow steps to avoid mosquito bites during the trip, and consult and reveal their travel history to their doctor if symptoms develop after the trip;
* Women preparing for pregnancy are advised to continue to adopt contraception for at least two months after returning from affected areas if they have no symptoms of Zika Virus Infection, or six months if one or both members of the couple are symptomatic;
C. Special notes for prevention of sexual transmission regarding adverse pregnancy outcomes
* Pregnant women should not have sex with male partners who have travelled to affected areas, or else condoms should be used;
* Any male traveller returning from affected areas should:
(i) Abstain from sex with his pregnant partner, or else use condoms throughout the pregnancy; and
(ii) Use condoms for at least six months if his female partner may get pregnant.
     The public may visit the pages below for more disease information and health advice:
* The CHP's Zika page (;
* The Zika page of the DH's Travel Health Service (;
* The Outbound Travel Alert page of the Security Bureau (;
* Anti-mosquito precautions for women (; and
* The WHO Zika virus situation reports (

Ends/Monday, July 11, 2016
Issued at HKT 19:29