Health Ministry tightens control over diphtheria

As outbreaks of diphtheria have occurred in Laos, Vietnamese Ministry of Health has warned about the risk of diphtheria outbreaks spreading from Laos through the border areas into the country.

Vietnam has recorded only a few cases of diphtheria in some communes in the remote district of K'Bang in the Highlands Province of Gia Lai and two hamlets of Phuoc Loc Commune, Phuoc Son district in the central province of Quang Nam.

The ministry recommended parents having their children vaccinated against diphtheria with drugs such as Quinvaxem or DTP (Diphtheria - Pertussis - Tetanus) under the guidance of medical centers.

The Ministry said that the development of the disease in Laos is very complicated.

There have so far been 588 infection cases among the total population of 6.7 million people, including 11 deaths reported in 6 cities and provinces in Laos since the first case was reported in June 3, 2015. Most of cases are children under the age of 15.

Vietnam health authority said that it will keep a close eye on the disease and exchange information with Laotian health ministry to prevent the spread of the disease across the country.

According to the Preventive Medicine Department under the Ministry of Health, the disease is controlled in Vietnam as most children were immunized with the vaccine against the disease in the National Expanded Immunization Program.

By staff writer - Translated by Anh Quan

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