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CHP closely monitors latest WHO Zika update

     The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (September 9) closely monitoring the latest Zika virus update of the World Health Organization (WHO), and again 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.

     Malaysia, which previously reported Zika Virus Infection in 2014, recently reported locally acquired mosquito-borne infections while the Netherlands recently reported evidence of person-to-person transmission, probably by sexual contact. To date, 72 countries/areas have reported mosquito-borne transmission since 2007 while 12 have reported person-to-person transmission since 2016.

     Among them, popular tourist attractions including Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam have been classified as countries reporting cases since 2007 with possible endemic transmission or evidence of local infections in 2016.

     "We noted the WHO's conclusion that Zika Virus Infection during pregnancy is a cause of congenital brain abnormalities, including microcephaly. Zika virus is also a trigger of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS)," a spokesman for the CHP said.

     "We are maintaining close liaison with the WHO as well as overseas, neighbouring and Mainland health authorities to closely monitor the latest developments," the spokesman said.

     Apart from general measures on preventing mosquito bites and mosquito breeding, the public should take heed of the special notes below:

A. Travelling abroad

B. Sexual transmission

C. Pregnant women

     The public may visit the following pages for more information: the Zika page of the CHP and the Travel Health Service, the Outbound Travel Alert page of the Security Bureau, anti-mosquito precautions for women and the WHO's Zika virus situation reports.

Ends/Friday, September 9, 2016 
Issued at HKT 16:15