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Pesticide suspected in microcephaly cases imported

Released at: 12:31, 17/02/2016

Pesticide suspected in microcephaly cases imported

9,000 kg of pyriproxyfen imported from Brazil, MoH confirms.

by Luong Nhi

Vietnam has imported over 9,000 kilograms of the insecticide known as pyriproxyfen from Brazil to kill mosquitoes, the Ministry of Health (MoH) acknowledged at a meeting on the Zika virus on February 16.

Despite a lack of evidence, questions are still being asked about whether the use of pyriproxyfen has created the Zika disease, which causes microcephaly in newborns. The MoH has said that if pyriproxyfen is proven to be behind the virus it will immediately be withdrawn from use. The World Health Organization in Vietnam is yet to release any information on links between the insecticide and the symptoms of microcephaly.

The pesticide was licensed for use in Vietnam in 2010. MoH said that over 9,000 kilograms have been used to process sewage and eliminate mosquito larvae at construction sites.

In Brazil many have pointed the finger at pyriproxyfen as being the main reason for the growing number of cases of microcephaly among newborns. The pesticide is said to have entered the country’s water source in the state of Pemambuco, where 35 per cent of recent newborns have microcephaly. There are yet to be any cases of Zika virus in Vietnam but it’s been found in 44 countries around the world, including Thailand and China.

MoH also announced a hotline for consultation and treatment on the Zika virus, at 0989 671 115. It also recommended that people arriving from overseas, especially from countries where the Zika virus is present, have a health check within 12 days of arrival, at the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, the Pasteur Institute in Ho Chi Minh City, or the National Hospital of Tropical Disease.

MoH is also selecting other hospitals and institutes to conduct tests.

  • TAGS
  • Zika
  • Brazil
  • MoH
  • pyriproxyfen
  • microcephaly

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