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CHP closely monitors active Zika transmission in area in Florida, US

     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) is today (August 2) closely monitoring the active Zika virus transmission reported in an area in Florida, the United States (US), and urged the public to adopt strict anti-mosquito measures and safe sex during travel. Pregnant women and those planning pregnancy should not travel to affected areas.

     According to the Florida Department of Health, local transmission was first confirmed in four cases on July 29. Upon epidemiological investigations, contact tracing and laboratory testing, regarding two cases in a community area in Miami-Dade County, one confirmed and three probable cases (close contacts) as well as six positive but asymptomatic cases (community individuals) were detected, adding up to 14 persons affected.

     "We noted that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the US had issued travel guidance in response to persistent mosquito populations and additional human cases in the same area. As there is a risk of continued active transmission in that area, the CDC recommended pregnant women not to travel to the area," a spokesman for the CHP said.

     "We will continue to maintain close liaison with the World Health Organization (WHO) as well as overseas, neighbouring and Mainland health authorities to closely monitor the latest developments," the spokesman said.

     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

B. Pregnant women and those preparing for pregnancy

C. Special notes for prevention of sexual transmission regarding adverse pregnancy outcomes

  1. Abstain from sex with pregnant partners, or else use condoms throughout the pregnancy; and
  2. Use condoms for at least six months if female partners may get pregnant.

     The public may visit the following pages for more disease information and health advice: the Zika Page of the CHP and 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/Tuesday, August 2, 2016 
Issued at HKT 15:27