Illustrative Image (AFP/VNA)

Hanoi (VNA)
– The Ministry of Health is coordinating closely with relevant sectors to keep tourists from Zika virus-affected countries under strict monitoring, aiming to prevent the virus from entering Vietnam, reported an online conference in Hanoi on February 2.

The health sector was asked to enhance monitoring work and arrange body temperature scanners at airports and border areas, particularly for passengers returning from Zika virus- hit areas.

The ministry is also building a set of instructions for observation and outlining measures to contain diseases that may be caused by the virus, which is transmitted to humans through the ‘Aedes mosquito” - the main carrier of dengue fever also.

Blood testing will be done for those suspected of carrying Zika virus, helping gather a list of high-risk groups, facilitating management and monitoring for them.

The ministry said it has instructed health care facilities at all levels to prepare well for quarantine and treatment work, while promoting publicity campaigns in a bid to enhance precautionary measures against the virus.

There is a high risk that the virus may enter and spread through the country due to trade and tourism connections with many Zika -hit nations, according to the ministry.

People are advised to reduce traveling to Zika- struck countries, and use mosquito chemical repellent and securely cover all containers of water - to prevent mosquitoes from entering them and laying eggs.

The Ministry of Health is working closely with the World Health Organisation (WHO) to keep close watch on the spread of the disease.

According to the Department of Preventive Medicine under the ministry, the WHO has recorded the most number of Zika virus cases in the Americas and Africa.

Zika virus, first detected in Uganda’s Zika forest in 1947, 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.

Vietnam has no case of Zika infection so far.-VNA