The Government is closely monitoring the latest developments relating to the mosquito-borne Zika virus and would follow closely advice from the World Health Organization (WHO). The Health Bureau has adopted necessary preparations against the risk of Zika spreading to Macao. But the Bureau said that so far no such case of the disease has been reported to local authorities. The Government’s preparation measures include: enhancing laboratory-based capability for detection of the disease; issuing guidelines to healthcare professionals; and strengthening monitoring and control efforts. Zika virus is primarily spread to humans through bites from Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. Symptoms of Zika infection might include fever, rash, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, and headache. Research suggests Zika virus might cause abnormalities at birth in human infants if women contract the disease during the early stages of their pregnancy, the Bureau stated. Most cases of transmission of the virus from mosquitoes to humans were reported in countries and territories in Central and South America and the Caribbean, including Brazil, Columbia, Mexico and Venezuela. The Health Bureau also noted a recent Zika case reported in Taiwan. The Bureau urges travellers – in particular pregnant women – to avoid visiting the affected areas. When travelling overseas, Macao residents should protect themselves from mosquito bites. It is suggested they should wear light-coloured and long-sleeved clothing, apply insect repellent and stay in air-conditioned places or places with mosquito screens. If any symptoms of Zika infection develop after travelling aboard, please seek medical advice immediately.