Students run gauntlet of swine flu as schools open

Since the new school year began in September, more students have contracted swine flu, health and education and training departments in provinces around the country report.

A student’s temperature is checked before she enters the dormitory at an unidentified school in Hanoi in the first week of September ( Photo: Thanh Nien)

The Department of Health in the central province of Binh Dinh on Sept. 14 took blood samples of 16 students from Tran Cao Van and Chu Van An High Schools for tests.

Twenty two students at Chu Van An and seven at Tran Cao Van have been isolated and two other schools closed down from September 14 to 24 to prevent more students from contracting the disease.

The province has reported 96 confirmed cases and dozens of suspected ones. Its People’s Committee has spent VND2 billion (US$113 million) on flu prevention and petitioned the finance and health ministries to provide VND18.3 billion for chemicals and equipment.

The Department of Education and Training in the central province of Quang Nam also decided to close three schools after 14 students tested positive for the flu virus at Ha Huy Tap High, Le Hong Phong Junior, and Nguyen Duc High in the space of a week.

At Ba Gia Senior School in Son Tinh District, the central province of Quang Ngai, 383 students are suspected to have contracted swine flu after three samples tested positive, while at Tran Quoc Tuan High School, 49 had flu-like symptoms.

The province People’s Committee has decided to establish a makeshift hospital at Ba Giai Senior School to treat students.

On the same day, the Department of Health in the Mekong Delta province of Can Tho reported the first case of swine flu, a primary school student in Ninh Kieu District who has been quarantined at the Tuberculosis and Pulmonary Diseases Hospital.

The southern province of Tra Vinh said that tests carried out by Ho Chi Minh City’s Pasteur Institute showed that nine out of 22 students at Pham Thai Buong Senior School from whom samples were taken have swine flu. It brings the number of infected school children in Tra Vinh to 15. They are all being treated at the General Hospital.

Nguyen Tran Hien, director of the Central Institute of Hygiene Epidemiology, said Vietnam would import five million doses of swine-flu vaccine for use on high-risk groups, including those suffering from chronic diseases and medical workers.

The Ministry of Health confirmed 238 more cases of A/H1N1 infection on the same day. Of them, 170 were in the south, 40 in the north, 19 in the central region, and the remaining nine in the Central Highlands.

They took the number of cases in the country to 4,902, including six deaths, of whom 4,481 have been discharged from hospitals and the rest are currently quarantined for treatment.

By staff writers - Translated by Uyen Phuong

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