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

By Le Phuong   November 17, 2016 | 11:13 pm PT
Ho Chi Minh City confirms 8 new Zika cases in 4 days
A worker sprays insecticide to kill mosquitoes in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo courtesy of HCMC's health department
Vietnam's total Zika infection count has reached 56.

The number of confirmed Zika infections in Ho Chi Minh City has risen quickly from 38 to 46 in just four days, bringing the country’s total to 56.

The city's preventive health agency confirmed eight more Zika cases on Thursday. District 2 and Binh Thanh each has nine patients, followed by five in District 9. Nine other districts have reported at least one case.

The city declared a pandemic state of the mosquito-borne disease in October.

The new patients have raised Vietnam’s total infections to 56, compared to only two cases in April.

The other patients are in the central and southern provinces of Ba Ria-Vung Tau, 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, a birth defect resulting in an abnormally small head, caused by Zika.

But a baby born to an infected woman in HCMC recently has been fine. Doctors are monitoring the baby and three other pregnant women tested positive to the virus.

More than 2,000 babies have been born with Zika-related microcephaly around the world, according to a report from the World Health Organization. Brazil has reported over 1,800 cases while 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.

Health officials said all people, either men or women, should avoid mosquito bites and traveling to places with Zika outbreaks if they plan to have children.

Aedes aegypti mosquito, which also carries dengue and yellow fever, is a vector species for the Zika virus, which has caused outbreaks in 73 countries and territories.

People are recommended to seek blood tests when having fever combined with rashes or joint pain.

Related news:

>HCMC declares Zika pandemic

>Ho Chi Minh City to provide free Zika tests as virus spreads

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