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Da Nang authorities examine 50,000 residents after first confirmed Zika case of 2020

Thursday, May 28, 2020, 10:36 GMT+7
Da Nang authorities examine 50,000 residents after first confirmed Zika case of 2020
Health workers in Da Nang, Vietnam kill mosquito larvae to prevent Zika and dengue outbreaks. Photo: T.Trung / Tuoi Tre

Since the confirmation of Da Nang’s first case of Zika virus earlier this week, local health workers have examined 50,000 of the city’s residents who may have been exposed to the pathogen.

The Vietnamese Ministry of Health announced on Monday that N.H.N., a 25-year-old worker in Da Nang, is Vietnam’s first confirmed Zika patient of 2020.

N., from the central province of Quang Nam, works for Hoa Phat Steel Pipe Co. Ltd. in Lien Chieu District, Da Nang and lives alone in a local boarding house on Ton Duc Thang Street in Hoa Khanh Bac Ward. 

He first reported to the Medical Center of Lien Chieu District on April 29 after running a fever for nearly 24 hours.

His other symptoms included a headache, loss of appetite, nausea, and pain in his joints and muscles.

Doctors tested him for Zika but they chose not to admit him and instead sent him home with medication.

His fever subsided two days later and he decided not to return to the center for a re-examination.

His Zika test results came back positive on May 19.  

Dr. Ton That Thanh, director of the Da Nang Center for Disease Control, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper that the center has since sent healthcare professionals to inspect N.’s neighborhood and check on its 50,000 residents in Hoa Khanh Bac Ward.

The healthcare workers were also tasked with paying special attention to the 200 households within a 200-meter radius of the patient’s boarding house, as well as the steel plant where he works and its 600 member staff.

The team’s examinations showed that no one in the patient’s neighborhood or workplace was experiencing Zika symptoms. 

Dr. Thanh also noted that, though contracting Zika virus can dangerous for pregnant women, no woman living within 200 meters of the patient’s residence or working alongside him was expecting.

Both Zika and dengue fever are vector-borne diseases carried by mosquitoes, the Vietnamese Ministry of Health said, adding that the onset of the monsoon season creates favorable conditions for the insects to transmit the two diseases.

Therefore, the country’s top heath regulators are urging local governments across the country to carry out mosquito control campaigns in order to prevent the spread of these diseases.

Vietnam recorded its first-ever Zika case in the south-central province of Khanh Hoa in 2016.

Since then, the country has documented 265 cases, mainly in southern Vietnam and some central and Central Highlands provinces.

In June 2016, a girl was born prematurely with microcephaly in the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak, according to a report published in the medical journal The Lancet.

The infant’s then-23-year-old mother had experienced symptoms of fever and rash linked to the virus during her second trimester. The symptoms resolved uneventfully.

Zika is spread primarily by the bite of infected Aedes species mosquitoes, including Ae. aegypti and Ae. Albopictus, which bite both day and night, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on its website.

The disease can also be passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus and infection during pregnancy can cause certain birth defects.

There is currently no vaccine or medicine for Zika.

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Pham Nhat - Truong Trung / Tuoi Tre News

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