China's first Zika virus case confirmed, reports say

A municipality worker fumigates a home against the Aedes aegypti mosquito Image copyright AFP
Image caption People have been fumigating homes against the mosquito that carries the virus, across South and Central America

A 34-year-old man who recently travelled to South America has become China's first confirmed case of Zika virus infection, reports state media.

China's National Health and Family Planning Commission said the man was from Ganxian county in the eastern province of Jiangxi, Xinhua said.

The virus is carried by mosquitoes and has been linked to birth defects.

But Chinese authorities have downplayed the risk of it spreading there, because of the winter cold.

The man had travelled through Hong Kong and Shenzhen on his way back from Venezuela, where he originally displayed symptoms, including a fever and dizziness.

He is now being quarantined at a hospital in his hometown and is recovering normally, the report said.

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Media captionA new testing kit is being developed to identify infections quickly

An international health emergency has been declared by the World Health Organization over the virus, which has spread rapidly in South and Central America, as well as the Caribbean.

Brazil has been particularly badly affected, prompting concern about its hosting of this summer's Olympics.

Zika has been linked to a condition called microcephaly, in which babies are born with underdeveloped brains.

While the disease is a concern for women who are, or may become, pregnant, most other sufferers experience only mild symptoms, such as fevers and skin rashes.

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