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China reports first case of Zika virus

Published 10/02/2016

A transmission electron micrograph of the Zika virus (Centres for Disease Control and Prevention/PA)
A transmission electron micrograph of the Zika virus (Centres for Disease Control and Prevention/PA)

China's first case of the Zika virus has been found in a 34-year-old man who recently travelled to Venezuela.

The man, from the southern city of Ganzhou, was treated in Venezuela on January 28 before returning home on February 5 via Hong Kong and the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, the National Health and Family Planning Commission said.

The commission said he had been confirmed as having the virus on Tuesday and was being treated at the Ganxian People's Hospital. His temperature was now normal and a skin rash was receding, it added.

It said the chances of the virus spreading in China were "extremely low" due to cold winter temperatures and a lack of mosquito activity, the primary avenue by which Zika spreads.

The Zika virus is spreading rapidly through Latin America. Most people who contract it have either mild or no symptoms, but it is suspected of causing a birth defect that results in babies born with abnormally small heads.

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