Medical workers warn of return of seasonal diseases

Outbreaks of seasonal diseases such as measles, chicken pox and dengue fever were reported after a long Tet holiday ( the Lunar New Year).

Ten students of Primary School Nguyen Du in District 12 infected with chicken pox, said the Preventive Medicine Centers at a meeting with the Department of Health early this week. Dr. Nguyen Tri Dung, head of the center, said that his center in coordination with district 12 clinic carried out disinfection at the school. All infected students were asked to stay at home.

Earlier, in January, 2015, an outbreak of chicken pox appeared at a preschool in Binh Thanh District with eight pupils was recorded. Therefore, since the beginning of the year, 90 cases of chicken pox have been reported.

Dr. Dung warned that weather in the South is changing from cold to hot facilitating the development of flu, measles, mumps and chicken pox viruses; accordingly, people should be actively aware of this and take the children to hospitals for vaccination.

Children hospitals have seen increasing cases of chicken pox since last week. The Infection Ward of the Children Hospital No.1 has a room for infected children. In January and February, the hospital received 50 cases of chicken pox or 5 - 6 cases of chicken pox were hospitalized per day while there was no case of chicken pox in previous months. 

Similarly, the Children Hospital No. 2 also received many cases of chicken pox lately with an average of two cases everyday. Medical workers said that the disease is entering its peak season and the number of chicken pox cases are forcast to be more and more next month.

According to the Preventive Medicine Center in Ho Chi Minh City’s report, the city recorded 150 dengue fever cases in January and 138 cases in February.  Hospitalized cases in February were 854 , a decrease of 4 cases compared to the same period last year.

The Department of Preventive Medicine under the Ministry of Health, announced an  outbreak of bird flu in the Mekong delta province of Soc Trang. Bird flu has been recorded in Vietnam since December, 2013 and caused losses to breeders.

Upon the complicated development of diseases, the Ministry said that it will intensify supervision to pandemic prevention mission and speed up vaccination in localities and schools for diseases  such as chicken pox, hand-foot-mouth, dengue fever, measles and rubella.

Worse enough, the World Health Organization has just issued warning of virus mutation and new cases of H7N9 virus in China; cases with virus H5N1 in Egypt and seasonal flu virus of H3N2.

Professor Tran Dac Phu, head of the Ministry’s Department of Preventive Medicine said, test results showed that the current flu virus circulating in the nations is A(H3) with 77.8 percent; A(H1N1) and B virus with 11.1 percent.

Le Thai Hoa, head of the Bureau of Food Safety in HCMC yesterday said that his bureau will strengthen control over food safety in schools this year as more cases of food poisoning have taken place in schools. For instance, in March 3, a food poisoning in Primary School Nguyen Thanh Tuyen in District 3 infected 64 students and one baby-sitter. All victims experienced headache and vomiting.

Medical workers have taken food samples for testing. Test result showed that coconut jam made by Phuoc Thanh Company in District 11 has high content of CaO and preservative content which exceeded the allowable limits. As a result, inspectors suspended Phuoc Thanh’s operation.

By Tuong Lam – Translated by Anh Quan

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