National Health and Family Planning Commission, the two cases involved a father and his son. The father, aged 38 from Yiwu, Zhejiang, developed fever and skin rash on February 21 and his son aged 9 presented with headache on February 16 and developed skin rash on February 21. The two cases were confirmed by the health authorities in Zhejiang today. The two patients are now hospitalised for isolation and management in Yiwu.
Inquiries revealed that the two male patients were the travel companions of the 38-year-old male patient who was the third case of Zika virus in the China. They travelled to Fiji and Samoa in a tour group on February 2 and returned to the Mainland via Hong Kong on February 14. The third case was laboratory confirmed on February 19.
Routine health surveillance on the body temperature of inbound travellers 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. The public health service recommends that those arriving from Zika-affected areas to apply insect repellent for 14 days upon arrival to reduce the risk of transmission.
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.
As long as there is international travel, there is always a risk of introduction of Zika virus to Hong Kong. As asymptomatic infection is very common and the potential vector, Aedes albopictus, is present locally, there is also risk of local spread in case Zika is introduced to Hong Kong.