Filipino Confirmed as First 2018 Chikungunya Case in Taiwan

A Filipino migrant worker has been confirmed as having Taiwan’s first imported case of mosquito-borne contagious diseas chikungunya this year, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said Tuesday.

According to Taiwan News, the 29-year-old Filipino male was detected with fever upon his arrival at Kaohsiung International Airport on Jan. 2. He was then referred to a hospital for treatment by the airport quarantine section. A blood test later revealed that he was infected with the chikungunya virus.

According to the CDC’s epidemiological investigation, the Filipino flew alone to Taiwan for contract work in Tainan, which neighbors Kaohsiung. It was his first time in the country, the CDC said.

The prompt action by health authorities resulted to prevention of spread of the virus to the rest of the community, the CDC said, noting that the man was discharged from the hospital on Monday in good health.

Since chikungunya was listed as a notifiable infectious disease in Taiwan in October 2007, there have been 106 confirmed cases in the country, all of them originating abroad. A total of 91 percent originated in Southeast Asia, including 57 cases from Indonesia and 24 cases from the Philippines, CDC data showed.

Chikungunya is endemic in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and the tropical and subtropical areas of Central and South America.

Epidemics in South Asia, including Pakistan and India, have continued to persist, while sporadic cases have occurred in countries in Southeast Asia, including Singapore and Thailand, the CDC said.

The symptoms of chikungunya are similar to those of dengue fever, and include fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, rash and joint pain.

In some cases, joint pain can affect the patient’s movement for as long as several months.