Online meeting between health ministry, related agencies on Zika virus

Though nearly 800 blood samples taken from 32 cities and provinces across the country are negative for Zika virus, health authority asked revelant agencies to raise its alert level to virus Zika, announced at an online meeting between the steering board committee of Zika virus prevention and major cities of Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh and central province of Khanh Hoa.

At the meeting, head of the Department of Preventive Medicine under the Ministry of Health Professor Tran Dac Phu said that by March 30, the country has no case of Zika virus as all samples are negative for the virus. In the first three months of 2016, epidemiology institutes and Pasteur institutes collected 784 samples from 32 cities and provinces and resulted all negative for the virus.

Prof. Dang Duc Anh from the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology said that the institute has carried out tests of more than 300 samples of people in the North and the Central even some samples sent from Pasteur Institute in Nha Trang City in Khanh Hoa Province yet all are negative.

Despite that, health authority decided to lift alert level to the second because it is highly likely that the disease can spread to the country as there are commercial exchange and travelling between the Southeast Asian nation and the virus-hit nations, said Prof Phu.

Health Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien directed that preventive measures are top priority. It needs to increase information of the disease’s danger to the public including killing mosquito which is vector to transmit the disease caused by Zika virus and dengue fever and keeping environmental hygiene.

By Khanh Nguyen - Translated by Anh Quan

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