Chinese man confirmed as first person with Zika in Henan after working in Central America for two months

A 28-year-old Chinese man who had been working abroad in Guatemala has been confirmed as the first person to be infected with the Zika virus in Henan province.

The unnamed man, originally from Xian, in Shaanxi province, lives and works in Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan, had been on a business trip in the Central American country for more than two months.

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He developed symptoms of the disease, such as a fever, headache, skin rash and sore throat, on September 5,according to a statement issued by the Henan Health and Family Planning Commission.

He then boarded a plane home and arrived at Zhengzhou last Thursday.

The man was suspected of having been infected with the virus during an airport checkpoint health screening and was sent to a hospital specialising in infectious diseases and placed in quarantine.

His condition is said to be stable.

The China Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, an agency of the Ministry of Health, confirmed on Monday that the man had been infected by the Zika virus.

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China has recorded a number of cases of people that have contracted the disease while abroad since the first one was reported in February. But so far, the mainland has not yet reported any locally transmitted infections.

Dozens of mainland residents in Guangdong, Jiangxi, Zhejiang and Beijing have been confirmed as having the virus, which they contracted while travelling abroad.

Zika is a virus transmitted by the Aedes egyptus mosquito, which causes only mild symptoms for most people, such as fever, rashes or joint pain. Four out of five of those infected exhibit no symptoms.

It has been detected in 67 countries and territories including Brazil.

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It is believed to have contributed to an increase in cases of microcephaly in Brazil and other parts of the Americas.

Pregnant women who contract the Zika virus can give birth to babies with microcephaly, a deformation marked by abnormally small heads and brains.

Additional reporting by Zhuang Pinghui

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