Zika, dengue fever keep spreading in Ho Chi Minh City

By Le Phuong   November 23, 2016 | 02:13 am PT
Zika, dengue fever keep spreading in Ho Chi Minh City
A health worker fumigates a classroom to kill mosquitoes to prevent Zika virus in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo by VnExpress/Hoai Nhon
The two mosquito-borne diseases show no signs of abating in Ho Chi Minh City, which declared a Zika pandemic last month.

Ho Chi Minh City health officials confirmed three more cases of Zika on Wednesday, raising the city's total to 65.

The virus has now spread to 17 out of the city's 24 districts, with Binh Thanh ranking first with 13 cases, followed by District 2 with 11.

Over the past week alone, 27 new infections have been confirmed.

Apart from Zika, Vietnam’s largest city is also struggling with a dengue fever outbreak. Data from the city’s Preventive Health Center revealed that from November 11-17, there were 690 new infections. That was high considering the weekly average of 550 cases in previous months.

Nguyen Tri Dung, head of the center said about 17,200 local residents have dengue fever year-to-date, up 6 percent over the same period last year. There could be many more cases in December.

The city’s health department has established six special task forces charged with detecting new Zika-infected cases, spraying insecticide and calling on residential household to eliminate any standing water in and around their homes to prevent mosquitoes from breeding.

Vietnam’s health ministry said that to fight Zika, which can cause microcephaly, a birth defect resulting in an abnormally small head, people should practice safe sex to prevent the virus from spreading.

Health officials said both men and women should avoid traveling to places where Zika cases have been confirmed if they plan to have children.

Related news:

> Question for outbreaks in Vietnam and Thailand: Is all Zika dangerous?

> 9 pregnant women in Ho Chi Minh City contract Zika virus

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