In response to the increasing number of Zika outbreaks in Asia, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said Wednesday that it has designated nine hospital-affiliated laboratories to the Zika diagnostic laboratory network to speed up testing times and control measures.
Following a recent surge in the number of Zika cases in Singapore, which has frequent travel exchanges with Taiwan, the CDC said, prevention of the mosquito-borne disease has become even more urgent.
According to the CDC, Singapore confirmed 258 Zika patients between Aug. 27 and Sept. 5 alone.
The agency said the inclusion of laboratories at the nine hospitals -- Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Tri-Service General Hospital, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taichung Veterans General Hospital, Chung Shan Medical University Hospital, China Medical University Hospital, National Cheng Kung University Hospital, Kaohsiung Veterans General Hospital, and Kaohsiung Medical University Chung-Ho Memorial Hospital -- will improve the CDC's testing capacity.
Previously, samples could only be tested by the two CDC laboratories, it said.
The expanded laboratory network is likely to stay in operation until further assessment is made before the end of this year, according to the agency.
To date, no indigenous Zika cases have been reported in Taiwan, the CDC said, adding that the country has confirmed six imported Zika cases -- two from Thailand, one from Indonesia, two from Latin America and one from the United States.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel