HONG KONG (Reuters) - Hong Kong's first Zika patient tested negative for the virus on Friday and was discharged from hospital, the government said in a statement.

On Thursday, the Centre for Health Protection had said the 38-year-old woman, who had returned to Hong Kong after spending two weeks in in the Caribbean, had tested positive.

She was initially tested and admitted to hospital after suffering symptoms of joint pain and red eyes.

The statement issued late on Friday said laboratory testing of the patient's blood and urine showed negative results for the virus. It did not explain the discrepancy with results of the earlier test.

Zika was detected in Brazil last year and has since spread across the Americas. The virus poses a risk to pregnant women because it can cause severe birth defects. It has been linked to more than 1,800 cases of microcephaly in Brazil.

(Reporting by Michelle Chen; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)