Since the beginning of the year, hospitals have received some children in the Northern provinces suffering Pertussis, Tran Dac Phu, head of the Health Ministry's Preventive Health Department, said on February 1.
Children in Hanoi, Vinh Phuc, Hai Phong, Ha Nam, Hai Duong, Nam Dinh in the North Vietnam were suffering the disease and even nine of them were hospitalized in Central Children Hospital.
Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is a highly contagious respiratory disease. It is caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis. Pertussis most commonly affects infants and young children and can be fatal, especially in babies less than 1 year of age.
People with whooping cough usually spread the disease by coughing or sneezing while in close contact with others, who then breathe in the bacteria that cause the disease.
Though it is contagious disease, Dr. Phu assured parents should not get into a panic. It is not likely that the disease will re-occur and become an epidemic as many children have been vaccinated with the rate of immunization of over 90 percent.
In addition to children with whooping cough, more children were taken to hospitals for treating pneumonia and diarrhea due to cold weather. Of them, 60 percent have pneumonia. Currently, Bach Mai Hospital receives over 100 children inpatients and around 200 outpatients everyday.