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|The mosquito-borne Zika virus is blamed for a spike in cases of the birth defect microcephaly in Brazil and other Latin American countries most affected by the outbreak AFP/Luis Robayo|
HANOI: Vietnam’s Ministry of Health has raised the alert level for Zika after an Australian tourist tested positive upon his return from Vietnam.
The move came after the World Health Organization's (WHO) International Heath Regulations (IHR) agency informed Vietnam of the case, Professor Tran Dac Phu, Head of Preventive Medicine Department, told local media late Wednesday (Mar 23).
Phu confirmed that the Australian tourist went through an incubation period while in Vietnam.
The tourist stayed in Vietnam from Feb 26 to Mar 3, before showing symptoms of the disease including fever, rash, headache, muscle pain, conjunctivitis and vomiting after returning to Australia, he said.
Phu also said the tourist visited Ho Chi Minh City, Lam Dong, Khanh Hoa and Binh Thuan during his trip.
It is not known if the tourist transited in any other countries before and after his stay in Vietnam, the official added, noting that it is too soon to say if the virus is circulating in Vietnam.
Vietnam’s Ministry of Health has sent staff to localities where the tourist had been to carry out Zika prevention measures.
According to WHO, the mosquito-borne Zika virus transmission has been documented in a total of 59 countries and territories.