Taichung International Airport, Taiwan. Photo: Google Maps

A sick Indonesian migrant worker in central Taiwan, who was stopped at an airport quarantine counter, has been diagnosed with Chikungunya fever. The woman is the first imported case in the country this year.

The woman and her husband, also Indonesian, both work in Taiwan. They went back home to Indonesia for a six-week break on March 13 and flew back to Taichung International Airport on Sunday April 28, the China Daily News reported, citing a media statement issued by the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control on May 1.

The wife was taken for a quarantine inspection, during which it was learned that she had a fever and runny nose two days before coming back, the CDC deputy director-general Chuang Jen-hsiang said.

Follow-up tests confirmed that the patient had been diagnosed with Chikungunya fever and classed it as an imported case, as the virus has an incubation period of three to seven days, meaning that the woman probably contracted it in Indonesia.

She has now been quarantined and her husband is also under observation until May 28.

According to the World Health Organization, Chikungunya is a mosquito-borne viral disease which is transmitted to humans by via infected female mosquitoes, such as Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus, which can also transmit other viruses, including dengue.

Patients with Chikungunya have an abrupt onset of fever, frequently accompanied by joint pains. Other common signs and symptoms include muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue and a rash, the website says.

Chikungunya has been listed as a notifiable disease by Taiwan since October 2007, and the island has recorded 113 confirmed cases, 90% of which were imported from Southeast Asian nations, primarily Indonesia (59) and the Philippines (27).

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