World Bulletin / News Desk
The Zika virus has been detected in 13 of the city’s 24 districts, reported the Tuoi Tre newspaper, with the three most recent cases following six diagnoses disclosed Nov. 11.
Nguyen Huu Hung, deputy director of the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Health, said the patients included five pregnant women whose fetuses are being monitored for birth defects linked to the virus.
Local authorities have also ordered Ho Chi Minh City residents to destroy pools of standing water, which serve as breeding grounds for the mosquitos. Pregnant women are also advised to avoid areas with outbreaks.
Zika, although usually only presenting mild flu-like symptoms, has been linked to thousands of cases of microcephaly in newborn babies worldwide. The disease is believed to affect prenatal development in women infected with the virus.
While most infections have been reported in Latin America, Vietnam has diagnosed around 50 cases in 2016.
Confirmed cases have increased dramatically from only nine as of the end of October.
The country’s first case of probable Zika-linked microcephaly was reported in October in the Central Highland region’s Dak Lak province.