Vietnam dengue fever and Zika virus – updates
The number of dengue fever cases in Vietnam are up 23 percent during the first nine months of 2016, compared to the same period last year, according to WHO data released this week. From Jan. 1 through Sep. 30, there were 79,204 cases of dengue including 27 deaths, reported in 44 out of 63 provinces in Viet Nam.
Concerning Zika virus infection in Vietnam, news reports note that the case tally has reached 136 confirmed cases nationally through Monday. Eighty-eight percent (119) of the cases in the country were reported in Ho Chi Minh City. Zika infection has been reported from 10 provinces since the virus was first reported in April.
South Korea – Bird Flu
South Korea’s agriculture ministry raised the country’s bird flu alert status to the highest level for the first time on Thursday as the disease has spread quickly nationwide.
The heightened alarm status comes as the country grapples with an outbreak of the highly pathogenic H5N6 bird flu that started a month ago. Since then, South Korea, Asia’s fourth-largest economy, has culled over 12 percent of its poultry population to contain the spread of the virus.
The ministry had already ramped up quarantine measures to tackle the spread of the H5N6 virus including issuing a temporary nationwide movement ban as an increasing number of farms have reported outbreaks.
There have been 53 cases of the virus confirmed since mid-November, with another 21 cases being tested, according to the ministry statement.
Outbreaks of avian influenza have been reported in Japan and several European countries including France, which raised its bird flu risk level to high last week.
Cases of human infections from the H5N6 virus have been previously reported elsewhere including China, where it killed 10 people, but no cases of human infections have been detected in South Korea.