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Việt Nam seeks early detection of Zika infections

Update: September, 03/2016 - 13:25
Representatives in Hà Nội attend the online meeting. – Photo
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI – The General Department of Preventive Medicine on September 1 held an online meeting in Hà Nội, HCM City, Central Highlands area and the central province of Khánh Hòa to discuss measures to assure the early detection of the Zika infection in high risks areas.

The Zika virus is caused by a virus transmitted primarily by Aedes mosquitoes. People with Zika virus disease often display symptoms including mild fever, skin rash, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, malaise or headache. These symptoms normally last from 2 to 7 days. There is a scientific consensus that Zika virus is a cause of microcephaly in newborn babies and Guillain-Barré syndrome. Links to other neurological complications are also being investigated, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

By the end of last month, Singapore had 115 cases of Zika. Since the first case was discovered on August 27, new cases have been continuously reported. At present, 70 countries and territories around the world report people with the disease.

Further, the WHO has announced that transmission of the Zika virus has slowed, but the risk remains significant.

During the online meeting, representatives discussed actions to assure the early diagnosis of patients suspected of having contracted the Zika virus. Representatives agreed that the supervision would be expanded to outpatient medical stations, where patients with early symptoms often arrive to seek health care. Further, the process of collecting, maintaining and transporting the disease samples for testing is to be carried out based upon the Ministry of Health’s regulations.

The US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (US CDC) highly praised Việt Nam’s quick response to the Zika virus’ risks, as well as the country’s efforts in reducing the spread of dengue fever.

Also, the US CDC announced it is prepared to support Việt Nam in supervising and controlling these diseases.

Meanwhile, associate professor Trần Đắc Phu, director of the department, said that institutes should set up plans to keep close watch on the use of Test Trioplex in the early diagnosis of Zika virus cases.

The use of the test began in September.

Additionally, the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology will organise training courses for medical workers across the country to learn to correctly test patients. – VNS 


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