Vietnam increases testing on alert for Zika virus

Right after receiving information from the WHO’s International Health Regulation that Australian had identified a case of Zika infection from an autralian tourist who had just returned from Vietnam, the Ministry of Health convened an urgent meeting deciding to increase monitoring through testing blood.

Vietnam also increase red alert level for the virus after the news, in the sideline of the National Assembly on March 24, Health Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien said that after the meeting, the Ministry will conduct massive testing because the Australian tourist could get the virus before coming to the Southeast Asian country; accordingly,  the health sector will keep close eye on the districts which the infected Australian  toured to.

Worse, some people having the virus are not discovered at this time because they have no specific symptoms of the disease, said Ms Tien.

Ms. Tien added that two weeks ago, the Ministry had launched a campaign to kill mosquitoes, its larva in Ho Chi Minh City’s Binh Chanh District because mosquitoes are the vector to transmit dengue fever and Zika virus. The Ministry has sent document to instruct mosquito-bite prevention and how to kill them and asked health officers to inspect “hot spots” for dengue fever.

So far Vietnam has no case of disease caused by Zika and no detection of the virus. Yet the country will increase monitoring medical check in border crossings and international airports warning people not to come to infected areas in the world.

By PHAN THAO – Translated by Anh Quan

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