Viet­nam mi­cro­cephaly case linked to Zika

Kuwait Times - - HEALTH & SCIENCE -


Viet­nam’s health min­istry yes­ter­day re­ported a mi­cro­cephaly case that it says is likely to be the coun­try’s first linked to the mos­quito-borne Zika virus. The case, a four-month old baby whose mother was di­ag­nosed with Zika when she was preg­nant, was found in the cen­tral prov­ince of Dak Lak. “This is a mi­cro­cephaly case with a high prob­a­bil­ity of be­ing re­lated to the Zika virus and also the first such case in Viet­nam,” the Gen­eral Depart­ment of Pre­ven­tive Medicine, a depart­ment of the na­tion’s health min­istry, said in a state­ment posted on its of­fi­cial web­site.

Viet­nam so far has re­ported a to­tal nine cases of Zika in­fec­tion, with more cases ex­pected to be con­firmed in the next few days, the depart­ment’s di­rec­tor Tran Dac Phu told Reuters yes­ter­day. If the mi­cro­cephaly case is con­firmed to be linked to Zika, Viet­nam would be­come the sec­ond South­east Asian coun­try af­ter Thai­land to re­port such a case. Viet­nam ear­lier this month raised the threat level for Zika and stepped up mon­i­tor­ing of preg­nant women in the coun­try af­ter de­tect­ing more cases and amid grow­ing out­breaks in the re­gion.

Zika in­fec­tions in preg­nant women have been shown to cause mi­cro­cephaly - a se­vere birth de­fect in which the head and brain are un­der­sized - as well as other brain ab­nor­mal­i­ties. The con­nec­tion be­tween Zika and mi­cro­cephaly first came to light in Brazil, which has con­firmed more than 1,800 cases of mi­cro­cephaly. In adults, Zika in­fec­tions have also been linked to a rare neu­ro­log­i­cal syn­drome known as Guil­lain-Barre, as well as other neu­ro­log­i­cal dis­or­ders. —Reuters

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