Ho Chi Minh City has reported six new Zika cases in the past week, raising the number of infections in the city to 35.
The city’s Preventive Health Center said six out of more than 80 blood samples collected have tested positive for the mosquito-borne virus.
HCMC has tested 995 samples since April and confirmed 35 patients, three of whom are pregnant. A patient in April terminated her pregnancy after testing positive for the virus.
|Aedes aegypti mosquito, a vector species for the Zika virus and dengue fever, has increased significantly in HCMC since the rainy season. (Photo:AFP)
Dr. Le Anh Tuan from the Department of Health said the number of new patients has fallen from eight in the previous week and 16 the week before that.
HCMC has the highest number of Zika infections nationwide, and patients from 13 of the city’s 24 districts have all contracted the virus in Vietnam.
The city has also reported a 10 percent increase in dengue fever patients to nearly 15,900 in the first 10 months of this year. The population of Aedes aegypti mosquito, a vector species for the Zika virus and dengue fever, has increased significantly in the area since the rainy season.
With the new cases from HCMC, Vietnam’s Zika infections have now reached 44. Other patients have been hit by the virus in the provinces of Binh Duong, Dak Lak, Khanh Hoa, Long An, Phu Yen and Tra Vinh. In Dak Lak, a 4-month-old baby has been confirmed as Vietnam’s first case of microcephaly caused by Zika.
The health ministry said people should avoid mosquito bites and use condoms to avoid contracting the virus.
Health officials said both men and women should avoid traveling to places where Zika cases have been confirmed if they plan to have children.
The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended that women wait at least eight weeks after possible exposure to the Zika virus before becoming pregnant. Men should wait six months.
According to the World Health Organization, Zika outbreaks have been reported in around 70 countries and territories.
More than 2,000 babies have been born with Zika-related microcephaly or other birth defects around the world, according to the latest WHO report. Brazil has reported over 1,800 cases of Zika-related microcephaly; the U.S. has reported 23.
The birth defect appears in 1-10 percent of babies whose mothers contract the Zika virus during the first trimester. Thailand reported two cases of microcephaly linked to the virus in late September, which were the first in Southeast Asia.VnExpress