Ho Chi Minh City confirms 3 new Zika cases in 3 days

By Xuan Thang   November 14, 2016 | 01:09 am PT
Ho Chi Minh City confirms 3 new Zika cases in 3 days
Vietnam has reported nearly 50 Zika patients in Ho Chi Minh City and many southern provinces. Photo by Reuters/Alvin Baez
A teenage boy from Ba Ria-Vung Tau has also fallen sick after visiting his girlfriend in the city.

Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province confirmed its first Zika case on Monday while its neighbor Ho Chi Minh City said the number of patients of the mosquito-borne virus has risen to 38 from 35 in just three days.

The male patient, 19, was admitted to a hospital in Ba Ria-Vung Tau on October 30 with a high fever and joint pains. He was later moved to another hospital in Ho Chi Minh City where he tested positive for the Zika virus.

An investigation by the provincial health department found he visited his girlfriend in the city around two weeks before falling sick.

Health workers fumigated his living area on Monday afternoon, and 350 families within a 250-meter radius of his house are being monitored.

Nguyen Huu Hung, deputy director of HCMC's health department, said at a meeting on Monday that the city had confirmed three new cases since the latest report three days ago.

Vietnam’s Zika infections are approaching 50. The latest official figure is not yet available, but there have been patients in the provinces of Binh Duong, Dak Lak, Khanh Hoa, Long An, Phu Yen and Tra Vinh. In Dak Lak, a 4-month-old baby has been confirmed as Vietnam’s first case of microcephaly caused by Zika.

The health ministry said people should avoid mosquito bites and use condoms to avoid contracting the virus.

Health officials said both men and women should avoid traveling to places where Zika cases have been confirmed if they are planning to have children.

The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended that women wait at least eight weeks after possible exposure to the Zika virus before becoming pregnant. Men should wait six months.

According to the World Health Organization, Zika outbreaks have been reported in around 70 countries and territories.

More than 2,000 babies have been born with Zika-related microcephaly or other birth defects around the world, according to the latest WHO report. Brazil has reported over 1,800 cases of Zika-related microcephaly; the U.S. has reported 23.

The birth defect appears in 1-10 percent of babies whose mothers contract the Zika virus during the first trimester. Thailand reported two cases of microcephaly linked to the virus in late September, which were the first in Southeast Asia.

Related news:

6 new Zika cases raise Ho Chi Minh City’s total to 35

Ho Chi Minh City confirms 9 more Zika cases, raises Vietnam’s total to 39

Vietnam confirms first microcephaly case likely linked to Zika

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