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Lao Cai province promotes efforts to prevent Zika virus

Update: February, 18/2016 - 10:25
Authorities supervise visitors at the Lao Cai international Bordergatein the northern border province of Lao Cai. The province is taking various measures that focus on health monitoring at border entry points to prevent the Zika virus from entering Viet Nam. — Photo anninhthudo.vn

LAO CAI (VNS) — The northern border province of Lao Cai is taking various measures that focus on health monitoring at border entry points to prevent the Zika virus from entering Viet Nam.

The provincial international medical quarantine centre has arranged body temperature scans at border areas, particularly for passengers coming from countries hit by Zika as well as high-risk groups.

Tran Duc Hung, Vice Director of the centre, said there are over 2,000 travellers going through the Lao Cai international border gate per day, mostly Vietnamese and Chinese.

As part of efforts to contain diseases that may be caused by the virus, the centre has intensified environmental sanitation and quarantine work at border gates.

Medical quarantine teams at border gates across the province have also promoted publicity campaigns in a bid to raise awareness of precautionary measures against the virus.

The Zika virus is mainly transmitted through the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, which also carries dengue fever. The virus has been linked to microcephaly, a condition that causes babies to be born with unusually small heads and, in the vast majority of cases, brain damage. Currently, there is no vaccine or specific medicine to treat Zika.

It was first identified in Uganda in 1947 in rhesus monkeys. It was confirmed in humans five years later in Uganda and Tanzania.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has recorded the highest number of Zika cases in the Americas and Africa.

According to WHO, the Zika virus is spreading explosively. By January 19, 27 countries and territories worldwide had confirmed Zika infections.

To date, Viet Nam has had no cases of Zika infection.

The Ministry of Health recently issued guidance on diagnosis and treatment for the virus. — VNS

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