Strictly monitor passengers' body temperature at a border gate in Lao Cai (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) issued a travel advisory for 24 countries affected by Zika virus, the Hanoi Moi newspaper reported.

The document was sent to all provincial Departments of Tourism, Departments of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the Vietnam Tourism Association and tourism agencies, aiming at enhancing Zika-virus preventive measures.

The agency requested international tourism agencies to warn tourists, especially pregnant women, about risks when travelling to Zika virus – hit nations in Latin America.

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, and confirmed in humans five years later in Uganda and Tanzania.

According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control , as of February 25, the virus had circulated in 43 countries and territories, mostly in South America, the Caribbean and the Pacific Ocean.

Vietnam has seen no cases so far. The Ministry of Health recently issued guidance on diagnosis and treatment of Zika infections. The ministry also set up a hotline for the virus at 098-967-1115.-VNA