SEOUL, May 11 (Korea Bizwire) – The fifth case of Zika virus infection in South Korea has been found in a man in his 30s who recently came back from a business trip to the Philippines, local health authorities said Wednesday.
The 39-year-old man, whose identity was withheld, visited Batangas, some 100 kilometers south of Manila, on April 27 and returned to South Korea on May 4, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said.
He visited a clinic in Samcheok, some 290 km east of Seoul, on Monday after having a rash, along with joint and muscle pains. He was diagnosed with the mosquito-borne virus in a urine test on Wednesday.
The KCDC suspects he might have been bitten by a mosquito while in the Southeast Asian country, but has no companions during his stay.
The health authorities said that he is being admitted to a hospital for further medial checkups, but there is slim possibility that he would transmit the virus to another person as he has not engaged in blood donation or got another mosquito bite since he returned to South Korea.
The latest case raises the number of confirmed infections in South Korea to five — one from Brazil, one from Vietnam and three from the Philippines. All of them had mosquito bites during their trip.
A total of 47 countries mostly in South America and Southeast Asia reported at least one confirmed Zika case over the last two months as of last week, according to the KCDC.
The KDCD asked the people to take care of themselves during their overseas trip to those countries, and recommended pregnant women cancel or delay their schedule.
The virus, first discovered in Africa, has been linked to thousands of birth defects in newborn babies like abnormally small heads and improperly developed brains in Brazil.
Months ahead of the Brazil Summer Olympics, the World Health Organization declared the Zika virus outbreak a global emergency.