Ben Tre Province in the Mekong Delta has reported its first case of the Zika virus, a 25-year-old woman who is 18 weeks pregnant, health officials confirmed on Thursday.
Vietnam has so far detected 212 Zika cases in 11 cities and provinces.
With the new case, Ben Tre authorities have taken prevention measures against a possible spread of the mosquito-borne virus.
Do Tan Hong, head of the province’s preventive medicine center, said because the patient lives near an industrial park crowded with migrant workers, there is a risk of the virus spreading that has to be monitored carefully.
The outbreak is most prominent in Ho Chi Minh City, which has 186 cases, including 12 pregnant women.
The health ministry said the virus has been contained within central and southern provinces.
The country has also confirmed its first case of microcephaly highly likely linked to the Zika virus. In October last year, a 4-month-old girl in the central highland province of Dak Lak was reported to have typical signs of the brain-deforming syndrome. Her mother had been diagnosed with the mosquito-borne virus while she was pregnant, and the girl was born with an abnormally small head.
The Zika virus is transmitted to humans by the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, also the main carrier of dengue fever which has been long present in the country, particularly in the southern provinces.
Although the virus is not usually life-threatening, it has been linked to increased rates of microcephaly in babies born to infected mothers.