Checking the body temperature of passengers (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) – Vietnam runs a high risk of recording a case of Zika virus infection, Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Kim Tien said during an inspection of virus prevention measures in Ho Chi Minh City on February 4.

She said, although there had not been any Zika patients reported in the country by February 4, southern localities are likely to witness the appearance of the virus as about 700 passengers from South American nations, where the virus is raging, enter Vietnam via HCM City’s Tan Son Nhat International Airport every month.

Zika virus is mainly transmitted through the Aedes Aegypti mosquito which also carries dengue fever. Moreover, 80 percent of dengue fever cases occurring in Vietnam are recorded in the south, which has suitable climate conditions for this kind of mosquito to grow.

She warned that if Zika virus appears in the south, it will possibly spread throughout the community.

The official recommended people avoid going to the Zika-affected regions while those coming from the virus-hit areas should use anti-mosquito chemicals for 14 days to prevent transmission.

Her ministry will also hand over health declaration forms to people from the affected countries to fill in, she added.

Nguyen Ba My Nhi – Deputy Director of the Tu Du Hospital in HCM City – said the hospital has recorded many microencephaly cases, but Zika virus disease has few clinical symptoms which are also similar to those of seasonal influenza, Rubella or dengue fever. Therefore, it is difficult to diagnose if pregnant women are infected with Zika.

Representatives of the HCM City Hospital for Tropical Diseases also shared these challenges in the diagnosis of Zika virus disease.-VNA