VIETNAM : HCM — Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Kim Tien has urged the public to take preventive steps against mosquito infestation in an aim to prevent dengue fever and Zika viral infections.
Speaking at a meeting in HCM City on Saturday, she said that 24 districts and 30 provinces in the Southern region and Central Highlands had committed to helping residents destroy mosquito larvae and spray high-risk areas.
The meeting was organised by the Ministry of Health’s Preventive Health Department and HCM City Pasteur Institute.
Minister Tien said that infections caused by the Zika virus had not appeared in Viet Nam.
Neighbouring countries have reported cases, so the risk for Viet Nam is high, especially in HCM City and southern provinces, Tien added.
Nguyen Thi Thu, vice chairwoman of HCM City’s People’s Committee, called on grassroots authorities to devise plans for epidemic prevention.
After the meeting, the minister and officials in HCM City and neighbouring provinces visited families in Binh Chanh District to give them instructions in mosquito prevention.
The Zika virus was first found in the Zika forest in Uganda in 1947. Since 2007, Zika cases have been reported in 52 countries and territories.
China, Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia have all reported viral infections caused by Zika.
In Viet Nam, the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which transmits the virus to humans, is common.