Lam Dong asked to raise warning level for Zika virus hinh anh 1Body temperature measuring at Ho Chi Minh City's Tan Son Nhat airport - Illustrative image (Source: VNA)
Lam Dong (VNA) – The Ministry of Health asked the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong to raise the warning level for the Zika virus, after an Australia visitor tested positive upon return from Vietnam.

The visitor stayed in Vietnam from February 26 to March 6 and travelled to Ho Chi Minh City, Lam Dong, Khanh Hoa and Binh Thuan provinces during that time.

Lam Dong is at high risk of the Zika virus, as its resort city of Da Lat frequently welcomes foreign visitors.

Therefore, the provincial Health Department has intensified epidemic supervision at residential areas and tourism sites, especial those attractive to foreigners.

From March 28, Lam Dong’s General Hospital No. 1 and No. 2 started collecting blood and body fluids from people who have had symptoms similar to Zika, including fever, rash, muscle pain, joint pain, headache and conjunctivitis.

The health department also strengthened communication on the disease and its symptoms, while organising training courses to raise its staff’s capacity.

Zika, first detected in Uganda’s Zika Forest in 1947, is transmitted to humans through the Aedes mosquito, which is also the main carrier of dengue fever.

Aside from mild fever, rash, muscle pain, joint pain, headache, pain behind the eyes and conjunctivitis, the virus has been linked to micro cephaly, a condition that causes babies to be born with unusually small heads and in the vast majority of cases, brain damage. There is currently no cure for the Zika virus and no vaccine.

According to the World Health Organisation, 59 countries and territories have recorded cases of Zika so far. Some foreigners after leaving several Southeast Asian countries such as Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia also tested positive for Zika.-VNA