Japanese encephalitis cases increase in Vietnam

Because of increasing trend of Japanese encephalitis cases in the country, Vietnamese Ministry of Health issued June 27 some warning of the disease.

The Ministry asked people to practice environment  hygiene to eliminate residence of mosquitoes. Cattle rearing farms should be removed far from houses. People should use mosquito nets and not let children to play near cattle farms. When a child has a high fever, they should be taken to a medical clinic for timely treatment.

The Ministry said vaccination against Japanese encephalitis is one of effective preventative measures.

Tran Dac Phu, head of the Department of Preventive Medicine, said that Japanese encephalitis is a disease spread through mosquito bites. Symptoms usually take 5-15 days to develop and include fever, headache, vomiting, confusion, and difficulty moving. Encephalitis occurs mainly in young children under 15 years old.

At present, the Ministry is urging local health authorities to administer vaccination against Japanese encephalitis for children.

As the disease develops complicatedly, Health Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien made an unscheduled visit to the Central Children Hospital in Hanoi. Do Thien Hai, deputy chief of the hospital’s Infectious Disease Ward, said that since the beginning of the year, the hospital admitted 130 cases of Japanese encephalitis; six of them had to put on breathing machines.

In 2013, around Japanese encephalitis cases accounted for 8 percent of total encephalitis, this year the proportion is up to 30 percent.

Accordingly Health Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien urged the Hospital to coordinate with the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology and the ministry's Department of Medical Examination and Treatment to provide training course on prevention.

These facilities have to take samples  from districts for testing to verify the cause of increasing cases of Japanese encephalitis.

By Quoc Lap - Translated by Uyen Phuong

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