One week ago, in Vietnam's CDC: Two Locally Acquired Cases Of Zika Virus Infection, we saw the results of the first round of susurveillance for Zika in Vietnam after Vietnam Raised a Zika Alert After Tourist Contracts The Virus.
Zika may also be circulating in Cambodia, Laos, India, and even China - but due to the background noise from Dengue and Chikungunya, and a lack of Zika-specific testing - we haven't seen laboratory evidence yet.
Nevertheless, in the past couple of months, in addition to Vietnam we have seen:
- a March 6th report from the Philippine DOH: American Contracts Zika Virus While Visiting The Philippines, setting off a campaign of testing, surveillance, and enhanced mosquito control in that country.
- And in February, in Thailand Reports `1st' Domestic Case Of Zika, we looked at a local case, along with a smattering of exported cases from Thailand over the past four years.
Today the WHO has published following update on Vietnam's recently confirmed cases.
On 5 April 2016, the National IHR Focal Point of Viet Nam notified WHO of 2 confirmed cases of locally-acquired Zika virus infection.
As of 4 April, the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology and Pasteur Institutes of Ho Chi Minh City and Nha Trang have tested 1,215 samples collected from people with Zika virus symptoms from 32 provinces in Viet Nam. No other cases of Zika virus infection have yet been identified.
- The first case, a resident of Nha Trang, Viet Nam, had onset of fever, rash, conjunctivitis and headache on 26 March 2016. On 31 March, the case tested positive for Zika virus infection by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) at Pasteur Institute Nha Trang. On 4 April the result was confirmed by the Pasteur Institute Ho Chi Minh City and National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology.
- The second case, a resident of Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam, developed rash, conjunctivitis and malaise on 29 March 2016. On 31 March the case tested positive for Zika virus infection by PCR at Pasteur Institute Ho Chi Minh City. On 2 April the result was confirmed by the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, and again on 4 April by the Nagasaki University.
Public health responseHealth authorities in Viet Nam are taking the following measures:
- strengthening disease surveillance and vector control activities;
- implementing risk communication activities, and provide information on measures for prevention and control of Zika virus and other mosquito borne diseases;
- implementing measures for monitoring the health status of pregnant women and detecting possible foetal complications of Zika virus infection;
- supporting medical facilities, including obstetric and paediatric units to prepare for a potential increase in the demand of health care services;
- ensuring adequate resource allocation for Zika prevention and control activities.
WHO risk assessmentThese are the first autochthonous cases of Zika virus infection detected in Viet Nam in 2016. This report does not change the overall risk assessment. The risk of a global spread of Zika virus to areas where the competent vectors, the Aedes mosquitoes, are present is significant given the wide geographical distribution of these mosquitoes in various regions of the world. WHO continues to monitor the epidemiological situation and conducts risk assessment based on the latest available information.