One death from Meningococcal meningitis reported in HCMC

The Ho Chi Minh City Preventive Medicine Department yesterday announced the first death caused by Meningococcal meningitis.

The first patient is a five-month-old baby in district 11. The bay was taken to the Tropical Diseases Hospital when she was experiencing high fever, vomiting, and bleeding in the skin. Test result confirmed the patient was infected with the virus to cause Meningococcal meningitis.

The hospital said that the baby was unconscious when being rushed to the hospital. The baby was diagnosed to have septicemia  and then died soon. 

The municipal Department of Preventive Medicine took steps for medical investigation. Dr. Nguyen Vu Minh Thu from the department said that right after being informed the fatality due to Meningococcal meningitis, medical staffs from the Department and the district medical center quickly came to the baby’s house and gave medicines to those who took care of the baby or who directly contact the baby and disinfect the baby’s house as well as asked people to increase personal hygiene and to go to medical facility for vaccination.

Dr. Nguyen Huy Luan from the Medicine University Hospital in HCMC said that Meningococcal disease is caused by the bacterium Neisseria meningitidis. The bacterium usually attacks toddlers under two years old. Infected babies will have high fever, headache, vomiting and other symptoms such as stiff neck.

Health authority must curb the outbreak by disinfect the neighborhood, and give medicine to those directly contacting ill babies or else the disease will spread.

Vaccination is needed to preven the virus. Parents should take their children to medical facilities for immunization and should not take them to crowded place to avoid getting the bacterium. Additionally parents should wash a baby’s hand with soap and even their hand before touching the baby.

By Tuong Lam - translated by Uyen Phuong

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