High-risk H1N1 groups should continue vigilance

Patients sit in a waiting room at the Obstetrics Hospital in Hanoi. Health officials say pregnant women and those living with HIV must continue to take preventive measures against A/H1N1 flu.

Those most vulnerable to A/H1N1 flu, such as pregnant women and people living with HIV, must continue to be vigilant about the disease, a health official said at a meeting of the National Steering Committee on Human Flu Prevention January 6.

Dr. Nguyen Van Kinh, director of the Central Hospital for Tropical Disease, said that while the number of A/H1N1 patients has reduced markedly in Vietnam, most cases now being seen are severe.

He added that doctors at the Tropical Disease and Bach Mai hospitals had recently saved a 39-week pregnant woman and her child who were infected. However, two other critically ill A/H1N1 patients are currently on respirators, said Dr. Kinh.

Nguyen Huy Nga, head of the Health Ministry’s Preventive Medicine and Environment Department, confirmed the A/H1N1 influenza endemic has waned nationwide.

Within the past week, the entire country reported only one infection and no deaths, he said.

Dr. Nga also said pregnant women and healthcare workers in 49 provinces will be eligible to receive free vaccines against the flu. Mass vaccinations are planned to be carried out before February.

To date, Vietnam has reported 11,112 cases of A/H1N1 and 53 fatalities in 24 provinces in the country. According to the World Health Organization, around 12,220 people in 208 nations and territories have died worldwide.

By Q. Khanh - Translated by Thai My

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