|Health workers provide consultation to pregnant woman in HCM City. — Photo baotintuc.vn|
HCM CITY — Doctors at obstetrics hospitals and wards in HCM City have been asked to provide counselling on the Zika virus to all pregnant patients. Many of the women who show no viral symptoms are demanding tests for Zika.
Thi Thị Tuyết Nhung, head of the Cultural and Social Affairs Board of the city’s People’s Council, spoke about the issue at a meeting with Từ Dũ Obstetrics Hospital on Tuesday.
Dr Lê Quang Thanh, the hospital’s head, said the proportion of Zika virus transmissions from mother to unborn babies was 1-10 per cent. The virus is not as dangerous as dengue fever and rubella, he added.
He said that some mothers infected with the Zika virus would not pass it on to the child, and that not all newborns infected with the virus would suffer serious consequences like an abnormally small head or nerve damage.
Some pregnant women who receive counselling from doctors at the hospital still demand the test, even though they have no symptoms, while those infected with the virus ask for an abortion.
Dr Tăng Chí Thượng, deputy head of the city’s Department of Health, said a fund for disease prevention and tests was available, but that the Ministry of Health requires that the woman must be showing symptoms such as fever, joint pain and red eyes, and has a doctor’s prescription.
Dr Phạm Anh Hải, head of the Từ Dũ Obstetrics Hospital’s general planning division, said that six pregnant women who had suspected symptoms were tested for the virus in October. One of them tested positive for the virus.
The hospital doctors are also monitoring nine other pregnant women with the Zika virus, he added.
According to the city Preventive Health Centre, 85 people have tested positive to the virus as of November 29, including 11 pregnant women.
Dr Nguyễn Văn Vĩnh Châu, head of the city’s Hospital for Tropical Diseases, said that a review of 7,000 blood tests that were positive for dengue fever between 2010 and 2015 showed that two of the samples had tested positive for the Zika virus.
Of 22 patients with the Zika virus at the hospital, all of them had a fever for one to three days, and later recovered, he added.
Dr Trương Hữu Khanh, head of the city Paediatrics Hospital No.1’s infection and neurology ward, said that it was important to kill mosquitoes in hospitals and throughout the community.
People should discard water from flower vases and other containers as only a few drops of water can be a favourable environment for mosquito larvae to develop, according to Khanh. —VNS