Thu, Apr 14, 2016 - Page 4 News List

International Zika virus workshop opens in Taipei

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

A three-day international workshop on the diagnosis of the Zika virus opened yesterday in Taipei, in which a new three-in-one laboratory test for Zika, Chikungunya and dengue fever was introduced to improve the nation’s ability to screen for mosquito-borne infections.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, vice president-elect Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) said that public health issues occur across borders, so cooperation with other countries to prevent and control the spread of infectious diseases is important.

Chen added that Taiwan has sufficient experience and professional knowledge on mosquito-borne infectious diseases to contribute to the region.

American Institute in Taiwan Director Kin Moy said that recent Zika cases in Vietnam and Fiji underscore the importance of strengthening the Asia-Pacific region’s ability to respond to this and other emerging pandemic threats.

Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Director General Steve Kuo (郭旭崧) said the first case of imported Zika virus in Taiwan was detected at Taipei Taoyuan International Airport in January, and many experts have predicted that the virus will likely spread in Southeast Asia and Taiwan, so it is important to improve the nation’s ability to detect the disease, especially at immigration points.

Kuo said the US’ CDC has sent two experts to attend the workshop and introduce a new three-in-one laboratory test for mosquito-borne infectious diseases —Zika, Chikungunya and dengue — to help enhance Taiwan’s detection ability.

As of Sunday, a total of 1,549 cases have been screened at airports this year, and no other confirmed Zika cases have been detected so far, the CDC said.

The International Training Workshop on Laboratory Diagnosis for Zika was jointly organized by the CDC and the AIT.

The three-day workshop features 24 laboratory experts and pathologists from 12 countries in the region — Australia, Bangladesh, Burma, Fiji, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam — that are seeking to boost regional capacity for responding to the Zika virus threat.

This story has been viewed 1922 times.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top