Vietnam confirms first microcephaly case likely linked to Zika

By VnExpress   October 29, 2016 | 10:05 pm PT
Vietnam confirms first microcephaly case likely linked to Zika
A city worker fumigates the area to control the spread of mosquitoes at a university in Bangkok, Thailand, Sept. 13, 2016. Photo by Reuters/ Athit Perawongmetha
It is the second ASEAN country to record cases of Zika-linked mircocephaly.

Health authorities in Vietnam confirmed on Sunday the first most likely Zika related microcephaly case in the country.  

The link to the virus was confirmed by laboratory tests, said health officials.

On October 14, Vietnam reported the first suspected case of the Zika-linked brain defect syndrome microcephaly in the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak. The local hospital took samples from the 4-month-old girl and her mother and sent them to Japan’s Nagasaki University for further tests.

The National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology later found after at least five rounds of tests that the 23-year-old mother, an ethnic woman, had Zika-like symptoms such as rashes and high fever during the first and second trimesters of her pregnancy.

Vietnam is the second country in Southeast Asia to record cases of Zika-linked mircocephaly after Thailand confirmed two cases in September.

Vietnamese health authorities have recorded nine Zika cases since the start of this year, all in the southern provinces, including five in Ho Chi Minh City.

Tran Dac Phu, director of the Preventive Health Department at the Ministry of Health, advised pregnant women to cancel non-essential travel to areas where the Zika virus is prevalent.

Zika generally causes a mild flu-like illness, but statistics revealed that it can increase the risk for microcephaly by 1-10 percent if a mother is infected in the first trimester of her pregnancy, said Phu.

The disease is spread primarily by mosquitoes, so the Health Ministry is urging people, particularly pregnant women, to take measures to prevent mosquito bites.

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4-year-old girl in southern Vietnam tests positive for Zika virus

Vietnam reports first likely Zika-related microcephaly case

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