Passengers at an airport's health quarantine area (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Two patients, one in HCM City and the other in the south central coastal province of Khanh Hoa, have tested positive for Zika virus, head of the Department of Preventive Medicine Tran Dac Phu announced on April 5.

The 64-year-old patient in Khanh Hoa province developed symptoms of slight fever , rash , headache and conjunctivitis (red eyes) since March 26 . She was hospitalised on March 28 in the Khanh Hoa Tropical Hospital where she was tested positive for Zika virus by Nha Trang Pasteur Institute on March 31.

The other case is a 33-year-old woman, who also suffered from such symptoms as rash, conjunctivitis and fatigue. Test result by the Ho Chi Minh City Pasteur Institute showed she got Zika virus.

Tests conducted by the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology (NIHE) a lso confirmed the infection.

Check-ups on the patients’ family members and residents in the neighbourhood so far revealed no other infection.

Both patients are in stable health conditions.

At a press conference in Hanoi on April 5 morning, Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long said the health ministry has instructed Khanh Hoa and HCM City authorities to declare the epidemic at the ward level and raise the warning alert to level 2.

The Nha Trang and HCM City Pasteur Institutes are coordinating with local health authorities to conduct preventive and counter-epidemic measures.

The ministry also recommended other localities to raise warning levels and take actions responding to the epidemic under the scenario 2 of the Zika-virus epidemic action plan.

Zika 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 the disease.-VNA