On April 1, two new cases of Zika virus were reported in Guangdong, bringing the tally of imported infections in the province to 10, according to China Daily.
The two infected patients are teenage girls who returned to Guangzhou on March 23 after taking a trip to Venezuela. Both developed a slight skin rash and tested positive for Zika shortly after.
The younger sister, who has since showed signs of recovery, is under observation at home. The elder of the two is still in the hospital but with a normal body temperature.
As springtime blows in milder temperatures, Guangdong is bracing for the potential expansion of the mosquito-borne virus.
Dr. Peter Piot, the director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and co-discoverer of the Ebola virus, has warned Taiwan and Hainan island – the country's southernmost point – are at particular risk, since both have populations of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which is the main carrier of Zika.
According to Dr. Piot, South China and Hong Kong are actually at a lower risk since they primarily house the Aedes albopictus mosquito, which is less likely to transmit the virus to people (although the species can still carry it).
Residents in Guangdong and Hong Kong are still advised to limit exposure to mosquitoes by wearing protective clothing, using insect repellent with DEET and removing standing water both inside and outside on patios.