Vietnam confirms third case of Zika infection

By Phuong Trang   August 3, 2016 | 12:44 am PT
Health officials are closely monitoring his family members and neighbors.

A 27-year-old man has tested positive for the Zika virus, Vietnamese health officials said on Wednesday, the third confirmed case of the mosquito-transmitted infection in Vietnam.

The patient, whose identity was withheld and who is from the coastal southern province of Phu Yen, was admitted to a local hospital on June 30 with a high fever, muscle and joint aches and a rash all over his body, according to health authorities.

The symptoms were first linked to dengue fever, but the patient tested negative for the fever after spending a week in hospital.

Nha Trang’s Pasteur Institute confirmed that the patient tested positive for the Zika virus on July 28.

Health officials in Phu Yen have sent blood samples from the patient’s relatives and neighbors to the Pasteur Institute in Nha Trang for further testing.

In April, two Vietnamese women became the first confirmed cases of the Zika virus in the country.

A 64-year-old woman in Nha Trang and a pregnant 33-year-old in Ho Chi Minh City were confirmed positive for Zika after at least three rounds of tests.

Vietnam started raising its alert against the virus earlier this year after an Australian tourist tested positive on leaving the country on March 6, state media reported.

The Zika virus is transmitted to humans by mosquitoes.

The World Health Organization said the virus has been linked to increased rates of microcephaly, which is characterized by unusually small heads in babies born to infected mothers.

Zika cases have been confirmed in South Korea, Thailand and China.

Brazil has been hardest hit by Zika, with some 1.5 million people infected and hundreds of confirmed cases of microcephaly in children born to women infected with the virus while pregnant.

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