Expert: Zika virus continues to see complicated developments

Thursday, 2017-02-16 05:40:50
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Health workers spray chemicals to kill mosquitoes (Source: VNA)
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NDO/ VNA – Although the number of Zika virus infection cases have dropped, the virus still had the potential to break out on a large scale if no preventive plan was implemented at the beginning of the year, said a health expert.

Associate Prof. Dr. Phan Trong Lan, Director of the Pasteur Institute in Ho Chi Minh City, issued the warning at a conference held in the city on February 16 to launch this year’s disease prevention tasks in the southern region.

Lan said Zika virus spreads rapidly via Aedes aegypti mosquitoes and is difficult to detect due to mild symptoms. Meanwhile the southern region has a high number of both arrivals and departures.

In 2016, Vietnam detected 227 Zika virus infection cases, of which 207 are residents living in Ho Chi Minh City.

Therefore, the expert warned that the number of Zika-infected cases across the region would increase, and recommended each province set up at least two Zika monitoring centres.

Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long requested southern provinces and cities keep a close watch on Zika-related disease and dengue fever while taking preventative measures to prevent outbreaks.

He also asked the localities to remain vigilant in relation to diseases that are likely to enter Vietnam, such as H7N9, Mers-CoV and Ebola.

Non-infectious diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases, cancers and diabetes, are also big threats, Long said, adding that they are responsible for 60 percent of the disease-related death toll nationwide.