Vietnam has no case of Zika virus

Head of the Ministry of Health’s Department of Preventive Medicine Tran Dac Phu January 6 said that Vietnam has no case of Zika virus so far.

Yet the Southeast Asian country is plaguing with dengue fever transmitted by several species of mosquito within the genus Aedes which also causes Zika virus disease.

Some Southeast Asian countries such as Thailand have reported the occurrence of Zinak virus. People travelled amongst countries in the world for studies, labor, and business; accordingly, it is high possibility that Zika virus will enter Vietnam.

The Ministry of Health is liaising with the World Health Organization to supervise the development of the disease as well as enhance prevention of the disease. One of prevention and control is to reduce the breeding of Aedes mosquitoes, said Dr. Tran Dac Phu.

In most people, Zika only produces mild symptoms — rash, headaches, pain in the bones, and fever — that usually show up between three and 12 days after a mosquito bite. These symptoms go away within a week, and one in four people don’t even develop any illness after being infected with the virus. Worrisome, there is no cure for Zika virus disease.

Along with the prevention of the entrance of the dangerous virus, the Ministry of Health warned people travelling from Zika virus-struck countries should keep an eye on their health condition in 14 days. They should go to nearby medical facilities when they experience fever.

T he ministry has recommended that people take the six following main measures to curb the spread of the virus. People should closely cover all containers of water to prevent mosquitoes from entering them and laying eggs. It is advisable to put fish into containers of water so that they kill mosquito larva; to turn upside down all containers of water when not in use; to change the water in flower vases every day; and to put salt or oil into water-containing objects placed underneath the feet of larders.

In addition, people should dispose of waste such as bottles, vases, coconut shells, used tires and tubes, broken parts of utensils such as water jars, and others to prevent them from containing water where mosquitoes can lay eggs.

Puerto Rico has recently reported its first case of Zika, a mosquito-borne virus that has been spreading across South America and the Caribbean and has been linked by Brazilian authorities to a serious birth defect, said the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on December 31, 2015.

Brazil has reported over 2,000 cases of babies born with microcephaly, or unusually small brains, as per the World Health Organization (WHO)’s announcement. WHO and Brazilian Ministry of Health have worked together to carry out researches on the link between Zika virus and microcephaly.

In related news of health, on the same day, deputy director of the municipal Department of Health Nguyen Huu Hung said that lately, the case of dengue fever is spiraling in some districts yet the prevention mission is facing difficulties. Authorities enhanced inspection and issued construction sites or enterprises which did not strictly obey mosquito breeding prevention. Each construction sites and business units in districts Tan Phu, Binh Thanh, Tan Binh and Thu Duc  was fined VND2 million.

The municipal Department of Preventive Medicine said that in 2015, nearly 22,576 people were hospitalized for treatment of dengue fever including 7 deaths, an increase of 115 percent compared to same period last year.

In December, 2015 alone, around 4,379 people were taken to hospital for dengue fever treatment. The Department said that mosquito prevention task is not well done in outlying districts namely Binh Tan, Binh Chanh and Cu Chi districts where have many outbreaks of dengue fever.
It is expected that the number of dengue fever will slightly decrease.

By staff writers – by staff writers - Translated by Uyen Phuong

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