Synchronous measures needed to curb dengue fever outbreak

Of the newly-infected cases, several patients are students who contracted the disease in Ho Chi Minh City and then transmitted the deadly virus to others when travelling to the Central Highlands for summer holidays. The Health Ministry’s Preventive Medicine Department said close to 400 patients have recovered and been discharged from hospital. The rest are being quarantined and treated and are all in stable condition. The department warned of the transmission of A/H1N1 influenza among those who use means of public transport, particularly students as they have not been aware of the danger and the spread of the epidemic. Southern provinces, such as Khanh Hoa, Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Lam Dong, Binh Duong, Dong Thap, Dong Nai, Binh Phuoc, Tay Ninh, and Long An have detected A/H1N1 cases among students studying in Ho Chi Minh City’s Ngo Thoi Nhiem and Nguyen Khuyen schools who came back home for summer vacation. In a telegram issued on July 25, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung asked the entire political system to take part in the fight against A/H1N1 flu as the disease showed initial signs of spreading into communities. The government leader required heads of ministries, ministerial-level agencies, government agencies, and cities and provinces to promptly carry out urgent measures to prevent A/H1N1 flu from spreading. He asked the media and other means of communication to raise public awareness of flu preventive measures so as to get the entire people involved in combating the disease. PM Dung asked the Health Minister to closely monitor…... [read more]

At the seminar, Dr Tran Dac Khu of the Health Ministry’s Preventive Medicine Department highlighted the significance of the project, saying that it not only equips people with practical knowledge on personal and environmental hygiene but also helps improve the quality of people’s lives by reducing the incidence of certain diseases. He also said that the dissemination of information on keeping personal hygiene to the entire people, particularly students, plays an important role in protecting community health while Vietnam is being hit by A/H1N1. The nation has 22 million students who will be good emissaries in spreading information on measures to curb the epidemic. According to the survey released at the seminar, between 12-15 percent of Vietnamese people have the habit of washing their hands with soap before meals and after going to the toilet, and only five percent of those caring for children wash their hands with soap before feeding babies.... [read more]

Dr. Nguyen Huy Nga, Head of the Preventive Medicine Department and spokesman for the Ministry of Health (MoH), said on January 12 that the measures include keeping the virus out of the country, tightening epidemic control and isolating flu victims on the spot. Improving people’s awareness of the dangers of the A/H1N1 virus is also seen as key to keeping the disease at bay. The MoH has listed suitable medications for victims during each phase, with Tamiflu being the most adaptable medicine. With available stocks of 1.2 million doses of A/H1N1 vaccine provided by the World Health Organisation (WHO), Vietnam has sufficient medicines to deal with the disease. Since the first case was recorded in Vietnam on May 30, 2009, the country has confirmed over 12,000 A/H1N1 patients, with 53 fatalities.... [read more]

Since the beginning of this year, four people have contracted A/H5N1 virus, causing one death. Over the weekend, the Environment and Preventative Medicine Department confirmed 2010’s first A/H5N1 patient in Hanoi. Vietnam has so far declared 116 A/H1N1 cases in 38 provinces and cities nationwide with 58 deaths since the country detected its first case on December 25, 2003. Dr Nguyen Huy Nga said that in remote areas, local people still slaughtered and ate meat from sick chickens. “This may cause the further spread of the disease,” he added. The Environment and Preventative Medicine Department has asked people to strictly observe the measures to prevent another outbreak of the epidemic. The department also stressed the need to tighten control of poultry transport, trading and slaughtering activities. Suspected cases have also been advised to go to the hospital for medical check up and timely treatment. Speaking at a recent national conference on bird flu prevention and control, Dr. Le Quynh Mai, head of the Virus Department of the National Institute for Hygiene and Epidemiology (NIHE), raised her concerns of genetic mutation in H1N1 virus. “At least seven antigen groups have appeared in the bird fu virus since it arrived in Vietnam,” she said. According to experts, the most effective measure to prevent the outbreak of the deadly disease is to promote information dissemination on the disease. However, there is the fact that the public awareness of the epidemic is still relatively low since the first occurrence of the epidemic seven years…... [read more]

This was estimated by Dr. Nguyen Thanh Long, Chief of the Health Ministry’s HIV/AIDS Control Department at a seminar discussing the training of health workers for the fight against HIV/AIDS in Hanoi on July 6. At present, health workers working in preventive medicine, including anti-HIV/AIDS work, number just 1,300 nationwide, or 21 in average for each province or city, Long said, underscoring the lack of human resources as a great challenge to the nation’s HIV/AIDS prevention and combat progamme to 2020. Dr. Tran Thanh Duong, Deputy Chief of the Health Ministry’s Preventive Medicine Department blamed insufficient investment in the field, including the lack of text books and training facilities, for the shortage of preventive health workers for HIV/AIDS programmes. He referred to the fact that only 13 medical schools nationwide provide training courses in this field, ranging from post-graduates to lab technicians, with about 250 graduates a year. Dr. Luu Ngoc Hoat, Deputy Head of the Hanoi Medical University, which has since 1994 carried out dozens of HIV/AIDS research and training programmes, agreed that preventive medicine lessons in his university lack coherent content and updates on real activities, causing difficult for students who are already burdened by heavy training curricula. The Health Ministry pledged that it will work out appropriate hospital-university training forms together with scholarships and mechanisms to encourage more students to go to preventive medicine and HIV to meet the nation’s needs in the field.... [read more]

The national flu monitoring system detected this case in April 2011. A two-year-old female baby in Long An province contracted the disease and was treated successfully at the Children’s Hospital No 1. in HCM City. The A/H3N2 flu virus she had originated from pigs. The test results of the HCMC Pasteur Institute were confirmed on January 10, 2012, by the WHO laboratory at the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Since April 2011, the Vietnamese Ministry of Health has strengthened efforts for early detection and monitoring of any new cases of human infection, and has coordinated with the WHO Office in Vietnam to conduct epidemiological investigation into the country’s first case of A/H3N2 human infection. Vietnam has detected no further cases of A/H3N2 infection since April 2011. Given the outbreaks of bird flu in several localities, Dr Nguyen Thanh Duong, Vice Head of the Vietnam Preventive Medicine Department, recommends active prevention measures be taken to stop the flu transmitting from animals to humans He said local people should not eat the meat or blood of pigs or fowl that die without apparent reason, and should visit the nearest clinic as soon as possible if detecting any flu symptoms after contact with fowl or pigs. New strain of swine flu detected... [read more]

Nearly 1,700 cases of HFM disease in Haiphong Hand-foot-mouth disease spreading quickly More than 320 children infected with HFM disease have been hospitalized at the Central Pediatrics Hospital. Notably, many cases do not show the common symptoms, especially among children under a year old, making diagnosis and treatment more difficult. Previously, the disease had symptoms like blisters on the hands, feet and mouth, but now some patients do not show these clear symptoms, and the disease only being detected when blood tests are carried out. According to the Hung Yen provincial Preventive Medicine Department, the disease has spread to all nine districts with nearly 120 people contracting the virus, 40 of them being treated at provincial hospitals. Doctor Pham Van Ngoc, head of the Infectious Diseases Unit, said the department has implemented many measures to prevent and control the epidemics, however, local authorities and people do not fully understand the dangers of the disease. Nearly 400 cases of HFM disease have been reported in central Binh Dinh province since early this year. Children under five accounted for 80 percent of these patients. The disease has spread widely in the province, especially in Hoai Nhon, Phu My, Phu Cat, and An Nhon districts. Cao Van Bay, Vice Director of the An Nhon Medical Centre, said that since late February, the disease has recurred following the Lunar New Year holiday in January with more than 20 patients now being treated at the district medical centre. To cope with the complicated situation of…... [read more]

The baby girl, from An Giang province, was admitted to the Pediatrics 1 Hospital at 9:30 pm on April 7 and died an hour later due to her critical condition. The baby contracted the disease at level 4, doctors said. The death was the fifth case among children in An Giang, which is leading the country in terms of death toll from HFMD, which has spread to all 63 provinces, affecting more than 21,300 children. Of the 18 deaths, five were in An Giang, two each in HCMC, Dong Thap, Dong Nai and Can Tho, and there has been one each in Danang, Dak Lak, Binh Dinh, Ba Ria-Vung Tau, and Vinh Long. Speaking at last week’s conference on measures to minimize deaths from the disease, Health Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien admitted that the epidemic has been more serious than last year. The disease rate is 23.8 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, the Preventive Medicine Department told the conference. HFM disease spreading in Dak Lak and Ha Tinh... [read more]

Hand-foot-mouth disease spreads in Ben Tre The municipal Preventive Medicine Department reported that there were nearly 650 cases of dengue fever in May, up 27 percent compared to April and more than 900 cases of HFM disease, up 14 percent over the previous month. Infections occurred in most districts and precincts and are expected to rise in the coming rainy season, said the municipal healthcare watchdog. The department has requested all clinic centres to strengthen environmental sanitation and dissemination of information to control these diseases. Nguyen Thi Hong Bien, Deputy Director of the District 8 Preventive Medicine Centre, said that in June and July the district will carry out a campaign to kill mosquito larva, clean up the environment, and provide information about dengue fever prevention to local people.... [read more]

Combating hand-foot-mouth disease HIV/AIDS cases decline: Health Ministry Around 57,900 people have been infected with HFM disease alone and 29 have died, reported the GSO. However, Nguyen Van Binh, Head of the Preventive Medicine Department, said the number of reported cases has been decreasing gradually from 3,000 per week in May to about 1,900 per week in June and July. Meanwhile, 23,200 cases of dengue fever have been confirmed, 11 of which have resulted in death. The bizarre skin, which was first recorded in April 2011 in Ba To District, Quang Nam province, has affected 216 local people and claimed 11 lives. In addition, 1,200 more people have been diagnosed as HIV positive in June, raising the total number of such cases in the reviewed period to 256,000, more than one-fifth of whom have died.... [read more]

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