First death caused by meningitis confirmed

The Department of Preventive Medicine under the Ministry of Health yesterday confirmed the first death because of meningitis.

A 18 year old girl Do Thi Xuyen in the northern province of Hai Duong died of meningococcal disease, a contagious disease caused by the Neisseria meningitis bacterium.

Xuyen had slight fever and headache on Feb, 20th and she was taken to the province hospital for emergency after she fell down in toilet. In the hospital she was bleeding and immediately transferred to the Military Hospital 108.

The girl showed more serious symptoms of infection shock, respiratory failure and bleeding disorder.

Tests showed that she had a blood infection and meningococcal disease caused by Neisseria meningitidis. She died on February 22 at Military Hospital 108.

Right after verifying the cause of her death, the province’s Center of Preventive Medicine sent its staffs to monitor her relatives and those who contacted her including her classmates and these people taking care of her in hospitals. The local government and school leaders were informed the death of meningitis, situation and the way of transmitting the disease.

Medical staffs from the Center of Preventive Medicine instructed her neighbors to practice personal hygiene and take measures for disease prevention, such as regular washing of hands with soap and cleaning of living areas.

Medical workers warned that anyone who has high fever, headache and runny nose should immediately visit the nearest hospital for examination.

Health experts said meningococcal disease is spread by person-to-person contact through respiratory droplets from infected victims. Symptoms include stiff neck, high fever and rashes all over the body. The disease is considered dangerous because the onset of symptoms is sudden and death can follow within hours.

By MINH KHANG – translated by Uyen Phuong

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