Vietnam has confirmed its first case of microcephaly thought to have been caused by the Zika virus. The country is the second in the region after Thailand to be affected in this way by the disease.
A 4-month-old girl in the Central Highlands region’s Dak Lak province born with an unusually small brain was reported by the Vietnamese government on Sunday to have symptoms in line with Zika-related microcephaly.
Antibodies specific to Zika were later discovered in both child and mother – who was diagnosed with Zika while pregnant – the General Department of Preventive Medicine said.
“This is the case of a child with congenital malformations symptoms, suffering from a small head, most likely related to the Zika virus,” the department said in a statement.
Vietnam joins its neighbor Thailand, which confirmed in September that two newborns had been diagnosed with microcephaly linked to the Zika virus.
Vietnam so far has reported a total nine cases of Zika infection, with more expected to be confirmed in the next few days, the department’s director Tran Dac Phu told the news service Reuters Sunday.
The country earlier this month raised the threat level for Zika and stepped up monitoring of pregnant women after detecting more cases amid growing outbreaks in the region.
The connection between Zika and microcephaly first came to light in Brazil, which has confirmed more than 1,800 cases of microcephaly.
jbh/tj (dpa, Reuters)