Risk Assessment on Zika Virus Infection in Taiwan

DOI: 10.6525/TEB.20160607.32(11).001

Shu-Wan Jian, Chia-Lin Lee, Ding-Ping Liu

2016 Vol.32 NO.11

Correspondence Author: Shu-Wan Jian

  • Epidemic Intelligence Center, Centers for Disease Control, Ministry of Health and Welfare, Taiwan


The geographical distribution of Zika virus has spread explosively since 2015. In February 2016, WHO declared that the clusters of microcephaly and neurological disorders reported in Brazil and French Polynesia constituted a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). Evolving Zika virus epidemic and scientific evidence of a causal link between Zika virus and neurological disorders, adding to that competent mosquito vectors had inhabited in Taiwan, a few Asian countries are Zika endemic, and frequent travelling between countries in America, Southeast Asia and Taiwan, posed a threat to Taiwan that prompted the risk assessment.

We estimated the probability and population-level impact of Zika virus disease in Taiwan by referring to risk assessments on Zika virus disease, the international risk assessment framework and algorithm, viral characteristics, global epidemiology, disease severity and other information currently available.

To date, the evidence indicated that sporadic cases of Zika are expected in the future. The likelihood of Zika clusters reported in Taiwan depending on the evolution of Zika in Southeast Asia. The sickness is usually mild while the impact on infected pregnant women about their fetuses developing brain abnormalities and patients developing neurological complications should be monitored.

Keywords:Zika virus, Microcephaly, Guillain-Barré syndrome, Aedes mosquito, Pregnant women