The Hanoitimes – On January 31, Department of Preventive Medicine has published details of telegraph 77/CD-BYT by the Ministry of Health and sent to Chairmen of central cities and provinces to directly prevent against Zika virus.
The Preventive Medicine Department said that Zika virus, transmitted to humans through Aedes mosquitoes which are also the main carriers of dengue fever, is spreading rapidly, especially in Latin America. Since the first case of Zika infection was confirmed in Brazil in May 2015, the virus has circulated in 21 countries and territories in Latin America by January 23, 2016.
The department explained that anyone who had not previously been exposed to the virus may become infected. Because, Aedes mosquitos are present in most Latin American nations. Therefore, the department said, the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Latin America has warned that Zika virus will continue to spread to almost countries and territories in the region. Against the backdrop, the Heath Ministry has regularly contacted the WHO in Vietnam to learn about the development of the virus and countermeasures while instructing epidemic prevention institutions to keep a close watch on the domestic situation.
The ministry warned people travelling from Zika-striken countries that they should keep an eye on their health in the first 14 days after arrival to Vietnam. They should go to the nearest medical facility when they begin to experience fever symptoms. It is also recommended that people should use mosquito chemical repellent and securely cover all containers of water to prevent mosquitoes from entering them and laying eggs.
According to the WHO, Zika can be transmitted through blood, but this is an infrequent mechanism. Standard precautions that are already in place for ensuring safe blood donations and transfusions should be followed. Evidence on mother-to-child transmission of Zika during pregnancy or childbirth is also limited. Research is currently underway to generate more evidence regarding perinatal transmission and to better understand how the virus affects babies. There is currently no evidence that Zika can be transmitted to babies through breast milk.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Zika virus, first detected in Uganda’s Zika forest in 1947, is transmitted to humans through the ‘Aedes mosquito’ which is also the main carrier of dengue fever. It causes mild fever, rash, muscle pain, joint pain, headache, pain behind the eyes and conjunctivitis.
There is currently no cure for Zika virus, and no vaccine for it. Therefore, the only effective prevention measure for the disease is to kill infected mosquitoes and eliminate hotbeds of mosquitoes and larvae, said the department. At present, the Ministry of Health is coordinating closely with the WHO to monitor the spread of the disease, as well as to enhance prevention measures in the country.
The ministry has warned people travelling from Zika virus-struck countries that they should keep an eye on their health in the first 14 days after arrival to Vietnam. They should go to the nearest medical facility should they begin to experience fever. It is also recommended that people should use mosquito chemical repellent and securely cover all containers of water – to prevent mosquitoes from entering them and laying eggs.