Ho Chi Minh City confirms 5 new Zika cases

By Le Phuong   November 20, 2016 | 04:48 pm GMT+7
Ho Chi Minh City confirms 5 new Zika cases
An aedes aegypti mosquitoes is seen in Panama City. Photo by Reuters/Carlos Jasso

The epidemic appears to grow after the city reported 19 infections within 3 days.

Ho Chi Minh City health officials confirmed five more cases of the Zika virus on Saturday, raising Saigon's total to 57.

Officials in over half the city's districts have reported cases of the virus. Binh Thanh District topped the list with 11 cases, followed by District 2 with 10.

The city’s health department has established six special task forces charged with detecting new cases, spraying insecticide on a large scale and calling on local residents to eliminate any standing water in and around their homes to prevent mosquitoes from breeding.

Ho Chi Minh declared a pandemic of the mosquito-borne disease in October.

Vietnam now has a total of 67 cases of the virus reported throughout the Mekong Delta and Central Highlands.

Zika causes only mild symptoms in most people, but pregnant women experience a high risk of giving birth to babies with microcephaly (e.g. an abnormally small head).

Doctors in Dak Lak Province have described a 4-month-old with Zika-related microcephaly as the first infant casualty of the pandemic.

Another baby born to an infected woman in HCMC was recently reported healthy. Doctors are monitoring the baby and three other pregnant women who tested positive for the virus.

The World Health Organization said that Zika outbreaks have been reported in around 70 countries and territories; more than 2,000 babies have been born with Zika-related microcephaly and other birth defects. Brazil has reported over 1,800 cases while the U.S. has reported 23.

Vietnam’s health ministry said people should take precautions against exposure to mosquitoes and practice safe sex to prevent the virus from spreading.

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

Related news:

Zika no longer a world public health emergency: WHO

Ho Chi Minh City confirms 8 new Zika cases in 4 days

Vietnam confirms first microcephaly case likely linked to Zika

 
 
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