Ministry, concerned agencies discuss measles in online meeting

A cyber meeting to discuss the increase of measles cases was held on April 8 by the Ministry of Health, the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology (NIHE) and concerned agencies.

A medical worker is examining a baby with measles in the National Children Hospital in Hanoi (Photo: SGGP)

From November 2013 to March 2014, the country experienced 3,380 cases with 25 deaths from complications. Most of the deaths occurred in the north with 28 percent of them being children younger than nine months old which is the age that the ministry recommends vaccinations for children because it is the most effective stage.

Most children infected were not properly vaccinated, according to the Department of Preventive Medicine. Only 4.2 percent of children with full vaccinations were infected.

Most children died from pneumonia after getting measles due to the cold weather, said head of the Department of Preventive Medicine Professor Tran Dac Phu.

The peak season for contracting the disease subsides due to hotter weather, said chair of the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology Professor Nguyen Tran Hien.

Cases of measles infections in the city and other southern provinces decreased in the past two weeks, said Dr. Phan Trong Lan, head of Pasteur Institute in Ho Chi Minh City.

After disbursing vaccinations throughout the country, the rate of infections decreased, said Professor Hien. About 710,000 children received full vaccinations in March. The campaign to disburse vaccinations will end after April.

A nationwide campaign started on Sept. 8, 2013 distributed 23 million measles and rubella vaccinations, according to the ministry.

By Quoc Lap - Translated by Uyen Phuong

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