Although no cases of Zika virus have been recorded in Vietnam, the Centre for International Health Quarantine of Ho Chi Minh City is carrying out various measures to prevent the virus from entering the country and to contain it in case the disease does occur.
Specifically, the centre has set up two body temperature scanners at Tan Son Nhat International Airport, which are operating around the clock to check passengers from international flights, the centre’s director Nguyen Van Sau said on February 1.
It also purchased medical equipment and chemicals to respond to the disease if it enters Vietnam. This week, the centre will spray the airport with chemical repellent to kill mosquitoes.
According to the Health Ministry’s Department of Preventive Medicine, the World Health Organisation (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, is transmitted to humans through the Aedes mosquito which is also the main carrier of dengue fever.
It 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.
The ministry has warned people travelling from Zika virus-struck countries that they should keep an eye on their health in the first 14 days after arrival to Vietnam. They should go to the nearest medical facility should they begin to experience fever.
It is also recommended that people should use mosquito chemical repellent and securely cover all containers of water - to prevent mosquitoes from entering them and laying eggs.