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

By Le Phuong   September 26, 2016 | 11:57 pm PT
Ho Chi Minh City to provide free Zika tests as virus spreads
People with typical symptoms including high fever and rashes are advised to seek blood tests in the first five days. Photo by AFP
Five cases of the virus have been reported in Vietnam since April.

Ho Chi Minh City will be providing free Zika tests at 30 public hospitals until the end of the year as the mosquito-transmitted infection spreads through the region at an alarming rate.

The city’s Preventive Health Department said people who develop rashes plus high fever, joint and muscle pains and sore eyes should have blood tests.

Five people have reportedly been infected with the Zika virus in Vietnam in the past five months, including two in Ho Chi Minh City.

The Aedes aegypti mosquito, the main carrier of the virus, is very common in Vietnam, and it is also known for carrying the dengue, yellow fever and chikungunya viruses.

Zika was first detected in Africa in 1947 and was considered a relatively mild disease until an outbreak started in Brazil in May 2015. Now 58 countries and territories currently have active Zika transmissions.

The virus has spread all over Southeast Asia, and 200 cases have been reported in the city state of Singapore in just a week.

Brazil has reported nearly 5,000 confirmed and suspected cases of microcephaly associated with Zika.

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>Vietnam on alert as Zika virus threatens to spread from neighbors

>4th Zika case in Vietnam is German woman

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