Raw blood soup can cost you your Tet: Vietnam ministry

Vietnam’s health ministry has recommended that people think twice about having a favorite blood-based dish if they do not want to enjoy the upcoming Lunar New Year, or Tet holiday, on a sickbed. Raw blood soup is the biggest cause of streptococcus suis infection in humans, so people are advised to remove this dish from their Tet menu, the General Department of Preventive Medicine under the health ministry said in a recent announcement. Raw blood soup, or tiet canh in Vietnamese, is a dish made of the raw blood of ducks, geese, or pigs, with peanuts and herbs on top. The dish is usually served alongside traditional Vietnamese alcohol. More than 170 people were diagnosed with streptococcus suis infection, with 14 succumbing to the disease, in 2017, according to the preventive medicine department. Streptococcus suis, or S. suis, is a family of pathogenic gram-positive bacterial strains that represents a primary health problem in the swine industry worldwide. The bacterium, capable of transmitting from pigs to humans, is also an emerging zoonotic pathogen that causes severe human infections clinically featuring with varied diseases and syndromes, including meningitis, septicemia, and arthritis. Those with severe symptoms can even die from the disease. S. suis infection is acquired through exposure to contaminated pigs or pig meat, and the most common cause of the disease in Vietnam is eating pig blood soup that is improperly cooked, according to the preventive medicine department. “The number of infection cases tends to rise before and during the Tet… [Read full story]

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