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As Chikungunya rages in Cambodia, Vietnam on high alert

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Aedes aegypti. Close up a Mosquito sucking human blood, Vector-borne diseases such as Chikungunya and Dengue fever are caused by a bite from this mosquito. Dreamstime

Cambodia has seen the re-emergence of the Chikungunya virus in 15 cities and provinces with more than 2,000 infected cases so far.

This outbreak has caused alarm in Vietnam and the administration of An Giang Province in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta has required relevant agencies to strengthen measures to prevent the Chikungunya outbreaks from entering Vietnam.

An official letter was sent to departments, agencies, and the People’s Committees of 11 districts, towns, and cities in the province on Wednesday to increase alertness and monitoring of the Chikungunya epidemic occurring in Cambodia, said An Giang vice-chairman Le Van Phuoc.

Among these localities, four share a border with Vietnam. Two of them — Kandal and Takeo Provinces — border An Giang, putting the Mekong Delta province at high risk of transmission.

Chikungunya is a viral disease transmitted to humans through infected Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, the letter mentioned, adding that its symptoms may include acute fever, severe joint pain, muscle pain, a headache, nausea, fatigue, and a rash.

The provincial Department of Health is tasked with coordinating with departments and localities — especially those in the border area — to disseminate information on the danger of the disease and take proactive preventative measures against the Chikungunya outbreaks.

In tandem with preparing sufficient quantities of drugs, materials, facilities, and chemicals for epidemic prevention, the An Giang People’s Committee also requested related departments to detect early infected cases to promptly handle local outbreaks should they arise.

Pham Thanh Tam, director of An Giang’s Center for Disease Control, noted that Chikungunya has a mode of transmission similar to dengue fever, but there have been no cases recorded in Vietnam so far.

The disease is considered less dangerous than dengue fever, as the mortality rate is low.

Its main vector is mosquitoes while human-to-human transmission has yet to be documented, Tam added. Tuoi Tre News

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