Vietnam gives free Zika testing to pregnant women

It is possible that the Zika virus can enter Vietnam and the development of the Zika virus is very complicated, thus, Deputy Health Minister Prof. Nguyen Thanh Long said at a meeting on February 16 in Hanoi that Vietnam will expand control over the disease by testing.

All women in child-bearing age travelling from Zika-hit countries into the Southeast Asian country will receive gratis blood testing, said Mr. Long.

At the meeting held by the Department of Preventive Medicine under the Ministry of Health on Zika prevention, it is said that up to 80 percent of Zika patients in the world have no specific symptoms, accordingly the supervision will be tightened more and more in the next time.

Mr. Tony Mount from the US’s Health Emergency Operations Center (EOC)  in Vietnam said that it is needed to enhance supervision over Zika virus in international border crossings yet it should plus tighten control in community as the disease has no symptoms or symptoms are invisible. In case the disease appears, pregnant women will suffer most because they will give birth babies with microcephaly which could be detected in last three months of the pregnancy.

Concerning to the information that Brazilian scientists uncovered that chemical Pyriproxyfen in mosquito killer sprayer product causes microcephaly not Zika virus. Deputy Health Minister Long stressed that this is an issue which the Ministry must pay much attention to.

Vietnam allowed the use of the dangerous chemical in 2010 and strictly followed the World Health Organization’s guideline. Since 2012, the Southeast Asian nation began importing and so far 9,500 kilogram of Pyriproxyfen have been imported into the country but it is mostly used in treating waste water, construction site not in drinking water.

As per the Department of Preventive Medicine, currently the virus has spread in 36 nations and territories worldwide and it is developing fast in early months of 2016. Venezuela and Brazil reported deaths with three and two respectively. Worse, the spread of the virus through blood transfusion and sexual contacts have been reported in Brazil and the US.

Vietnam has no case of disease caused by the Zika virus yet it is highly likely that the disease will enter the Southeast Asian nation. Therefore, medical workers in hospitals in the South and the North will check the Zika virus when examining dengue fever.

By MINH KHANG – translated by Anh Quan

Other news