Reply : Journal of the Chinese Medical Association

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Chen, Hui-Lan; Tang, Ren-Bin*

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Journal of the Chinese Medical Association: July 2016 - Volume 79 - Issue 7 - p 410
doi: 10.1016/j.jcma.2016.04.004

    Dear Editor,

    We appreciate Professor Wiwanitkit’s well-advised comments on our paper “Why Zika virus infection has become a public health concern?” In his letter, Professor Wiwanitkit shared his concerns regarding the prevention of maternal Zika virus (ZIKV) infection in the public health government level. This was our main concern as well. As Joob and Wiwanitkit1 mentioned, it is very difficult to diagnose ZIKV infection early and to differentiate it from other tropical infections; besides, it is hard to prevent other mosquito-borne diseases, which are also caused by the bite of infected mosquito species.2 We agree with the results presented by Joob and Wiwanitkit1 and shared in our original paper the concerns about the existing knowledge of maternal ZIKV infection and possible connection between ZIKV infection and microcephaly in babies.3 At present, no vaccine is available for treating ZIKV infection, and thus potential effective methods to prevent this infection include implementing control measures to avoid mosquito bites, reducing sexual transmission, and controlling the mosquito vectors. Methods to reduce infections among pregnant women include avoiding or postponing travel to areas with ongoing ZIKV transmission, avoiding unprotected sexual contact with partners who are at risk of ZIKV infection, and adherence to measures for protection against mosquito bites.4,5 To strengthen the regional capacity to address public threats, the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control held workshop lectures under the US–Taiwan Global Cooperation training framework on molecular diagnosis for Zika on April 13, 2016, which discussed a three-in-one laboratory test for Zika, dengue, and chikungunya, which is capable of providing results for these three vector-borne diseases in 3 hours. This is hoped to be an important diagnosis tool for infection detection in Taiwan in the future.6

    Conflicts of interest: The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest related to the subject matter or materials discussed in this article.


    1. Joob B, Wiwanitkit V. Zika virus infection and dengue: a new problem in diagnosis in a dengue-endemic area. Ann Trop Med Public Health. 2015;8:145-146.
    2. Wiwanitkit V. Zika virus infection: control and prevention. J Chin Med Assoc. 2016;79:409.
    3. Chen HL, Tang RB. Why Zika virus infection has become a public health concern? J Chin Med Assoc. 2016;79:174-178.
    4. Oduyebo T, Petersen EE, Rasmussen SA, Mead PS, Meaney-Delman D, Renquist CM, et al. Update: interim guidelines for health care providers caring for pregnant women and women of reproductive age with possible Zika virus exposure—United States, 2016. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2016;65:122-127.
    5. Petersen LR, Jamieson DJ, Powers AM, Honein MA. Zika virus. N Engl J Med. 2016;374:1552-1563.
    6. Centers for Disease Control, R.O.C (Taiwan). US and Taiwan co-organize International Training Workshop on Molecular Diagnosis for Zika participated by 12 countries in Southeast Asia to strengthen Asia-Pacific regional capacity to tackle Zika virus (2016-04-13). Available from: [Last Accessed: April 15, 2016].
    © 2016 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.