Zika virus spreads to China, first case confirmed

The patient has been quarantined and undergoing treatment at a local hospital, authorities said.
By Elizabeth Shim  |  Feb. 10, 2016 at 7:38 AM
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BEIJING, Feb. 10 (UPI) -- China has confirmed its first case of Zika – the virus that has been linked to cases of microcephaly among newborn babies.

The virus was detected in a 34-year-old man residing in Ganxian county, Jiangxi province, Xinhua reported Wednesday.

The patient had returned from Venezuela, where he stayed in January.

The Latin American country declared a health crisis Monday, citing a shortage of medications and medical equipment, Fox News reported, and the president of the Venezuelan Pharmaceutical Federation has said it is a challenge to keep track of patients affected by the Zika virus in the absence of an epidemiological bulletin.

In China, the patient has been quarantined and undergoing treatment at a local hospital since Feb. 6.

According to the country's National Health and Family Planning Commission, the patient exhibited several symptoms, including fever, headache and dizziness starting Jan. 28, when he returned to his hometown.

The patient is recuperating with a regulated body temperature and a disappearing rash, authorities said.

The Zika virus causes several ailments, including fever, rash, headache, conjunctivitis and joint pain in the muscles and eyes.

The greatest threat is to pregnant women, who risk giving birth to babies with microcephaly, a condition that results in abnormally small heads and possibly even brain damage in the newborn infant.

Chinese officials said the risk of a contagion is not high because of low temperatures where the man is currently hospitalized.

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