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Vietnam Reports First Cases of Zika Virus Infection

The Ministry of Health of Vietnam on Tuesday reported the country’s first two cases of infecting Zika virus in southern Khanh Hoa province and Ho Chi Minh City.


The first patient is a 64 year-old woman living in Khanh Hoa’s Nha Trang city, the ministry said at a press conference held Tuesday.

She got fever on March 26 with symptoms of mild fever, headache, and rash in two legs and pinkeye.

After two days of self-treatment at home, she was not better and went to Khanh Hoa Hospital of Tropical Diseases.

On March 31, test results in Nha Trang Pasteur Institute showed that the patient is positive with Zika virus.

The test sample was later transferred to be tested again in the Hanoi-based National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology (NIHE).

The NIHE’s test result on Monday showed that the female patient is positive with the disease.

Meanwhile, the second case is a 33 year-old woman in the country’s southern Ho Chi Minh City’s District Two. The patient started getting ill on March 29 with similar symptoms of typhus, conjunctivitis and fatigue.

The patient went to General Hospital of District Two on the same day. Two consecutive test results showed that she was infected with the Zika virus.

Later, the NIHE’s test result on Monday also showed that the female patient is positive with the disease.

Vietnam’s Ministry of Health (MOH) on March 23 decided to raise alert level for Zika virus in the country after the World Health Organization announced that Australia has identified a case of Zika infection after a person returned from Vietnam.

This person came to Vietnam on Feb. 26 and left Vietnam for Australia on March 6, the General Department of Preventive Medicine under MOH said on its website.

On March 8, this person showed symptoms of Zika infection, including fever, rash, headache, muscle aches, conjunctivitis, nausea. The person travelled to southern Ho Chi Minh City, Central Highlands Lam Dong Province, central coastal Khanh Hoa Province and southern Binh Thuan Province in Vietnam.

The MOH has requested healthcare units to strengthen supervision and take sample tests of all cases which have similar symptoms to Zika virus infection.

The ministry has also asked localities to promote communications activities to guide residents in killing mosquitoes in order to prevent the disease.

By Robert Muriisa.

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