A northern Thai man has been hospitalised in Taiwan after being confirmed as having the mosquito-borne Zika virus thought to be linked to brain-damaging birth defects in infants. Taiwan’s Ministry of Health and Welfare told the country’s Central News Agency on Tuesday that a Thai national coming there to work for the first time was stopped at Taoyuan International Airport on Jan 10 after setting off temperature scanners upon arrival in Taipei.

The 24-year-old man who had been living in the North for the past three months is being held for observation at a local hospital. Liu Ting-ping, director of the Epidemic Intelligence Center at Taiwan’s Centers for Disease Control, said the patient had a fever and a headache before boarding the plane in Bangkok and was detained at the airport’s fever-screening station.

Two other northern Thai passengers travelling with the victim were cleared of both the Zika and dengue fever viruses. CDC director-general Steve Kuo told CAN it was the first confirmed Zika virus detected in Taiwan.

The Zika virus is transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which is also known to carry the dengue, yellow fever and Chikungunya viruses. First detected in Africa in 1947, it baffled health experts in the second half of 2015 by spreading quickly through Central and South America. Symptoms include fevers, mild headaches, skin rashes, joint pain and conjunctivitis