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Happy New Year 2016

Press release - The first two cases of Zika virus identified in Vietnam 4/6/2016

PRESS RELEASE
The first two cases of Zika virus identified in Vietnam

Facing outbreak of Zika virus disease in the world, to actively prevent diseases caused by Zika virus from invading and spreading into the country, the Ministry of Health has implemented preventive measures from the time when no cases positive for Zika virus were detected in Vietnam. The Ministry of Health had actively raised the alert level as if Vietnam has seen cases of Zika infection, thus enhancing surveillance of diseases caused by Zika virus in the community for early detection of cases and timely treatment. As of April 4, 2016, the Institutes of Hygiene and Epidemiology/Pasteur have tested 1,215 samples from suspected cases with Zika virus infection in 32 provinces and cities across the country; from which two cases were found positive for Zika virus in Khanh Hoa province and Ho Chi Minh City with the details as follows:

1. The first case: a female patient, 64 years old, residing in Phuoc Hoa ward, Nha Trang city, Khanh Hoa province; date of onset March 26, 2016 with symptoms of mild fever, headache, rash in two legs and conjunctivitis. She took antifebrile medicine at home but did not get better. On March 28, 2016, she was taken to Khanh Hoa Hospital for Tropical Diseases. Test results dated March 31,2016 by Nha Trang Pasteur Institute show positive for Zika virus; Test results from the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology and Pasteur Institute in Ho Chi Minh city dated April 4, 2016 both confirmed that she was infected with the Zika virus.

2. The second case: a female patient, 33 years old, living in Thanh My Loi Ward, District 2, Ho Chi Minh city, date of onset March 29, 2016 with symptoms including rash, fatigue and conjunctivitis. She was examined at District 2 General Hospital on the same day due to fear of rubella; admitted to hospital; two consecutive tests dated March 31, 2016 and April 1, 2016 by Pasteur Institute in Ho Chi Minh city found she was positive with the Zika virus. Later, the test result from the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology dated April 2, 2016 and from Nagasaki University laboratory located in the Institute dated April 4, 2016 also showed that the patient is infected with Zika virus.

No further Zika infections among their relatives and neighbours have been found. Thus, here are the first two cases of Zika virus identified in the community in our country; now the two patients are in a stable condition.

Facing Zika virus outbreak with confirmed cases in our country, the Ministry of Health has sent documents to the Departments of Health in Khanh Hoa province and Ho Chi Minh city to advise Provincial/city People’s Committee to announce outbreak on the commune/ward scale in accordance with the Decision 02/2016/QD -TTg dated Jan 28, 2016 of the Prime Minister prescribing the conditions for announcement of outbreak of infectious diseases; directed localities to raise the alert level to level 2 as for cases identified in Vietnam; the Pasteur Institute in Nha Trang and Pasteur Institute in Ho Chi Minh City in cooperation with local authorities have expanded outbreak investigation in the endemic area and implemented measures to handle the outbreak.

The Health Ministry sees that there is a possibility of continuing seeing more cases of Zika virus due to travels and exchanges between countries as well as localities throughout the country. At the same time, Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are the vectors for virus transmission and so far there is no immunity in the community. The characteristics of the disease are often with moderate, mild symptoms, many cases even with no symptoms or symptoms go away with no major impact on health; however, due to the potential connection between Zika virus infection in pregnant women and congenital microcephaly, it is necessary to pay attention to disease prevention, monitoring the health of pregnant women or women who plan to become pregnant, and pregnant women infected with Zika virus.

To actively prevent and control Zika virus infection to limit the spread in the community, stabilizing social security of our people, the Ministry of Health requests localities to deploy the following activities:

1. Raise the alert level and deploy outbreak control activities as described in the 2nd scenario of the action plan of preventing and combating the Zika virus in Vietnam; continue to strengthen surveillance and testing samples for Zika virus at localities for early detection of infected cases, deploying all disease prevention and control measures including killing mosquito larva (larvae), prevention from mosquito bites, mobilizing people and community participation; organization of vector surveillance and spraying insecticide to avoid the spread out to the community.

2. Deploy intensive propaganda, mobilize people to implement the campaign "People kill mosquitoes, mosquito larva (larvae) for prevention against diseases caused by Zika and dengue viruses", currently this is the most effective measure in the prevention of disease caused by Zika virus. Advise people not to be panic and implement preventive measures for individuals, families and communities, as well as not causing negative effect to tourism activities.

3. Localities to execute outbreak declaration as prescribed in Decision 02/2016/QD -TTg dated Jan 28, 2016 of the Prime Minister on the conditions for announcement of outbreak of infectious diseases if disease outbreaks occur in order to maximized resources and mobilize people’s participation in the prevention of the disease caused by Zika virus.

4. Organize monitoring, providing guidance and antenatal care for pregnant women, pregnant women infected with Zika virus, surveillance of congenital and neonatal microcephaly in obstetric and pediatric facilities in the country.

5. Healthcare facilities, prenatal and obstetric facilities to be ready in manpower, medicines, supplies, equipment, hospital beds to ensure the collection and treatment of patients.

6. Allocate additional funds for Zika disease prevention; guiding policies for staff directly involved in the prevention and control of Zika outbreak.

MoH will continuously update and share outbreak situation information in the world and in the country and provide information to the media as well as on the website of the Ministry of Health (moh.gov.vn) and General Department of Preventive Medicine (vncdc.gov.vn).


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For further information please contact:
General Department of Preventive Medicine, Ministry of Health; Address: 135/1 Nui Truc Street, Ba Dinh, Hanoi
Tel: 04.38456255; Hotline: 0989671115