Likely Zika birth defect in Vietnam

Aedes mosquitoes. Officials said the baby's mother had been diagnosed with Zika when she was pregnant.
Aedes mosquitoes. Officials said the baby's mother had been diagnosed with Zika when she was pregnant.ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

Vietnam yesterday confirmed that a four-month-old baby in the central province of Dak Lak has microcephaly, likely the first case linked to the mosquito-borne Zika virus.

Officials said the baby's mother had been diagnosed with Zika when she was pregnant, which is believed to have caused the baby's head and brain to be undersized.

If the link between the infection and the birth defect is confirmed, Vietnam would become the second country in South-east Asia after Thailand to report such a case.

Vietnam has so far reported nine Zika cases, with more expected to be confirmed in the next few days, the authorities said. The country raised the threat level for Zika earlier this month and stepped up monitoring of pregnant women after detecting more cases and amid growing outbreaks in the region.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 31, 2016, with the headline 'Likely Zika birth defect in Vietnam'. Print Edition | Subscribe