Diphtheria outbreak kills 3 in central Vietnam

In response to information of Diphtheria outbreak in the central province of Quang Nam, the Ministry of Health has issued warning and worked out measures to stamp out the outbreaks.

The Diphtheria outbreak occurred in Phuoc Loc Commune in Phuoc Son District that killed 3 residents within one week, caused 6 others to be hospitalized while 4 others were kept at home under medical workers’ supervision.

According to the Department of Preventive Medicine under the Ministry of Health, from June 30 to July 15, 13 inhabitants aged from 1 to 45 year old in Phuoc Loc Commune suffered high fever, swollen and painful throat.

Through investigation, most of inhabitants in the village have not been immunized before.

Currently diphtheria patients are isolating and medical workers have  sprayed chemicals to disinfect the village. The provincial Department of Health has sent a mobile medical worker team to stay in the village for timely discovery of new cases as well as encourage people to vaccinate and apply prevention measures to protect themselves.

The Department of Preventive Medicine liaised with Pasteur Institute in Nha Trang and the Institute of Vaccine and Medical Biologicals to set up a plan to vaccinate all inhabitants in the commune. For detail, children under12 month-old will be injected Quinvaxem, a vaccine against five deadly childhood diseases including diphtheria (D), tetanus (T), pertussis (P, whooping cough), hepatitis B (HepB), and Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib). Children aged 1 to 6 will be injected with DPT to against diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus. Children are 7 years old up will be immunized with TD against diphtheria and tetanus.

The Ministry also gave warning that people should often wash their hands with soaps, cover their mouth when they sneeze and cough as well as keep their personal hygiene.

If being infected with the disease, people should go to medical facilities and isolate themselves from contacting with others.

By Quoc Khanh - Translated by Uyen Phuong

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