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Health ministry warns of monkeypox importation into Vietnam

Health ministry warns of monkeypox importation into Vietnam

Monday, July 25, 2022, 12:51 GMT+7
Health ministry warns of monkeypox importation into Vietnam
An electron microscopic (EM) image shows mature, oval-shaped monkeypox virus particles as well as crescents and spherical particles of immature virions, obtained from a clinical human skin sample associated with the 2003 prairie dog outbreak in this undated image obtained by Reuters on May 18, 2022. Cynthia S. Goldsmith, Russell Regnery/CDC/Handout via Reuters

The Ministry of Health warned of monkeypox importation into Vietnam though the Southeast Asian nation has not yet recorded a single infection case.

Nguyen Luong Tam, deputy director of the Department of Preventive Medicine under the Ministry of Health, made the warning during an urgent meeting with the World Health Organization (WHO) office in Vietnam on Sunday afternoon.

The alert came one day after the WHO declared monkeypox outbreaks a public health emergency of international concern – the strongest call to action that the agency can make.

The health ministry asked localities to ramp up surveillance in border areas for possible cases of monkeypox, which has reportedly spread to at least 75 countries with nearly 16,000 infections, including five deaths.

Since early May 2022, cases of monkeypox have been logged in countries where the disease is not endemic, and continue to be recorded in several endemic countries, said the WHO.

Most confirmed cases reported travel to countries in Europe and North America, rather than West or Central Africa where the monkeypox virus is endemic. 

This is the first time that many monkeypox cases and clusters have been documented concurrently in non-endemic and endemic countries in widely disparate geographical areas.

In Asia, South Korea, Singapore, New Zealand, Australia, and Taiwan have reported monkeypox cases, according to the ministry.

Vietnam has not yet detected any case, but it is only a matter of time, and there may be undetected community transmission, according to Dr. Do Hong Hien, an epidemiologist of the WHO office in Vietnam.

Speaking at Sunday’s meeting, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Vu Trung of the Pasteur Institute in Ho Chi Minh City expected that the WHO and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will supply Vietnam with chemicals and biological products to detect suspected monkeypox cases.

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Bao Anh - Duong Lieu / Tuoi Tre News

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