A medical worker (R) gives guidance on mosquito prevention measures (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) – Ho Chi Minh City and Binh Thuan province are stepping up Zika virus prevention efforts as they are now highly susceptible to the mosquito-borne virus.

A woman in Thanh My Loi ward of HCM City’s District 2 was reported to be Zika-positive in early April. The southern municipality also announced Zika outbreak warnings at the communal and ward levels.

Under a recently-issued Zika prevention plan, HCM City will focus on minimising outbreak risks by spraying anti-mosquito chemicals at the District 2 Hospital where the Zika patient received check-ups and at her District 1 workplace.

It is also distributing leaflets and increasing radio broadcasts to raise awareness of the virus and mosquito prevention measures.

Schools across the city have been asked to enhance Zika prevention activities.

The municipal People’s Committee has also devised plans of action in case a Zika epidemic occurs.

Meanwhile, the central province of Binh Thuan has recorded more than 400 people contracting dengue fever, a disease caused by the same mosquito species that carries the Zika virus, since the beginning of 2016.

It is also a popular tourist destination, located on the way from HCM City to Khanh Hoa province, where another Zika case was detected.

In early April, the Ministry of Health’s Department of Preventive Medicine said an Australian tourist tested positive for Zika after returning from Vietnam. The tourist had visited Binh Thuan, among others.

The provincial Department of Health said communications have been strengthened and anti-mosquito and larvae substances have been sprayed at dengue fever hotbeds and tourism areas.

Samples of suspected Zika cases have also been taken, with all of them testing negative, according to the department.-VNA