Sun, Jul 03, 2016 - Page 3 News List

S Korean unlikely to have passed on Zika, CDC says

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

South Korea confirmed that a 28-year-old woman returning from the Commonwealth of Dominica who transited in Taiwan has contracted the Zika virus, but the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said that the risk of her having transmitted the disease to anyone in Taiwan is low.

According to South Korea’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the woman tested positive for Zika on Thursday last week after returning to South Korea from Dominica, where she had been living since 2014, South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency reported.

On her return to South Korea, she transited in the US, as well as Taiwan.

South Korean health authorities said the woman began to suffer from a rash, muscular pain, joint pain and conjunctivitis on Monday and went to Seoul National University Hospital on Wednesday.

The centers yesterday said that Zika’s period of viremia — when the virus enters the bloodstream — is usually from two days before the onset of symptoms to about seven days after symptoms have occurred.

Therefore, the virus was unlikely to have been contagious when the woman transferred flights in Taiwan, and airports and airplanes usually take anti-mosquito measures, so the risk of the woman having transmitted the virus during her short stay in Taiwan is relatively low, the agency said.

However, the centers said it would contact the WHO to discuss the details of the case, including the exact time the woman was in Taiwan.

The agency urged people who are visiting areas where Zika is prevalent to take precautions against mosquito bites.

Men should use condoms and pregnant women should talk to a doctor or healthcare provider if they or their male partner have recently returned from a Zika-affected country, the centers said.

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