South Korean woman contracts Zika on Vietnam visit

By Korea Times, Nam Phuong   May 8, 2016 | 02:55 am PT
South Korean woman contracts Zika on Vietnam visit
This photo filed on April 28, 2016 shows an electronic bulletin board at Incheon International Airport that warns of the dangers of Zika virus. Photo by Yonhap News
Health authorities in South Korea confirmed on May 7 that a fourth case of the Zika virus infection in the country has been found in a 25-year-old woman who recently returned home from Vietnam, according to a report published in the Korea Times on Saturday.

The Korea Center for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said the woman worked in Ho Chi Minh from April 10-30 and had arrived back in South Korea on May 1. The patient, whose identity was not disclosed, is currently in stable condition.

She went to a hospital in the western port city of Incheon on May 4 to treat a chronic thyroid gland problem after developing a rash and joint pains, the report said.

The KCDC thinks the woman may have contracted the virus after being bitten by a mosquito while in Vietnam. South Korea’s health authorities are also examining a person who met with the patient in Vietnam between April 13-17 to check for potential transmission of the virus, the Korea Times said.

Vietnam’s Ministry of Health announced on April 25 that the Zika virus outbreak is over in HCM City and the central province of Khanh Hoa in a statement posted on the General Department of Preventive Medicine's website.

No new cases have been reported in HCM City and Khanh Hoa for 24 days since the first cases were reported, the department said, adding that necessary measures are being taken across the country to prevent the virus from breaking out again.

In late-March, a 64-year-old woman living in Nha Trang showed symptoms identical to Zika, including a mild fever, headache, a rash on her legs and red eyes. After two days of taking medication that failed to reduce the fever, she went to the Khanh Hoa Hospital of Tropical Diseases for a check-up.

The other case was a 32-year-old woman from District 2 in HCM City. She started developing a severe fever, conjunctivitis and fatigue on March 29, and went to the district general hospital the same day. She subsequently tested positive for the Zika virus.

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