China's health authority warns of Zika spread as weather warms

Updated: 2016-02-24 21:05


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BEIJING - China's health authority on Wednesday warned of the spread of the mosquito-borne Zika virus as spring has arrived in parts of the country.

China has confirmed five imported Zika cases since it reported the first victim on Feb 9, said National Health and Family Planning Commission spokesperson Xiong Huang at a press conference.

"We should be vigilant as the spread of the illness can not be ruled out in some regions where the mosquito population will increase as the weather warms," Xiong said.

The latest confirmed cases involved a 38-year-old man and his eight-year-old son from Yiwu city in East China's Zhejiang province. They were bitten by mosquitos while in Fiji and Samoa. The previous three patients are from Jiangxi, Guangdong and Zhejiang provinces.

The Zika virus has a low fatality rate and most patients have recovered, although there is currently no effective cure for Zika, Xiong said.

Efforts will be stepped up to quarantine the infected and reduce the number of mosquitoes, said the commission.