HONG KONG (Reuters) - Hong Kong has confirmed its first case of Zika, putting the Asian financial center on high alert for any spread of the mosquito-borne virus that has wreaked havoc in Latin America, the Caribbean and beyond.
At a media conference late on Thursday, Controller of the Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health, Leung Ting-hung, said relevant measures had been taken to prevent the virus from spreading further.
He said the government’s priority was controlling the mosquito population in Hong Kong.
“The patient is a 38-year-old woman with good past health. She has developed joint pain and red eyes since August 20,” the department of health said in a statement.
It said it would report the case to the World Health Organization.
In February, a mainland Chinese man who flew into Hong Kong was diagnosed as having the Zika virus, according to local broadcaster RTHK, citing officials as saying there was little chance he could have caused an outbreak during his brief stay.
Zika was detected in Brazil last year and has since spread across the Americas. The virus poses a risk to pregnant women because it can cause severe birth defects. It has been linked to more than 1,800 cases of microcephaly in Brazil.