Sunday, 3 April 2016

Zika virus in travellers from Vietnam but not in Vietnam...?

I'm Australian. Didja know? I am also trying to follow the comings and goings of Zika virus (ZIKV). These are two of the reasons why my ears perked up 24-March-20-16 when media reports described a ZIKV case in a tourist who had returned from Ho Chi Minh city and the central provinces of Vietnam.[6] He had arrived in Vietnam 26-Feb-2016, and became ill 08-March-2016, two days after leaving Vietnam.[6]

During the week (30-March-2016), Queensland Health (Queensland is a State wihtin Australia) released its weekly notifiable conditions data, which list ZIKV detections as a distinct entity (looking at you [1]) and listed Vietnam as the origin of acquisition of the (I presume) case reported by the media.[2]

Notifiable conditions report summary information.
Queensland Health.[2]
I also just noticed that the Australian Government Department of Health's ZIKV notifications table  now (below) lists two ZIKV infected travellers who reportedly acquired their infections from Vietnam. 

Zika virus - notifications of Zika virus infection (Zika).
Australian Department of Health.[3]
So what? Well, Vietnam - despite testing 784 samples for ZIKV from 32 provinces and cities nationwide - has yet to report a single local detection of ZIKV and there is no description of any mosquito testing.[4] Also confusing is the absence of Vietnam from the list of ZIKV affected countries on the Australian smartraveller website [5] does not list Vietnam among the countries to consider a risk for running into the proboscis of a ZIKV-loaded mosquito.

From smartraveller.[6]

So we keep watching and hope that Vietnam has plenty of advice coming to it behind-the-scenes from the World Health Organization (who also have not listed it in this weeks ZIKV SitRep [7]) about how to reduce the risks of the Vietnamese community becoming infected by ZIKV.

References...

  1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27016009
  2. https://www.health.qld.gov.au/clinical-practice/guidelines-procedures/diseases-infection/surveillance/reports/notifiable/summary/default.asp
  3. http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/ohp-zika-notifications.htm
  4. http://vietnamnews.vn/society/294585/tests-finds-no-cases-of-zika-virus.html
  5. https://smartraveller.gov.au/bulletins/zika_virus
  6. http://www.thanhniennews.com/health/vietnam-raises-zika-alert-after-australian-tourist-returns-home-sick-60511.html
  7. http://who.int/emergencies/zika-virus/situation-report/31-march-2016/en/