[health-vn] Vietnam sets up barriers against swine influenza
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Tue Apr 28 23:44:20 EST 2009
Vietnam sets up barriers against swine influenza
21:45' 27/04/2009 (GMT+7)
VietNamNet Bridge – Vietnam has not discovered any case of swine flu but the
country has worked out measures to cope with this fatal virus. Officials from
the Preventive Health Agency and the World Health Organization (WHO) in Vietnam
gathered at an urgent meeting on the swine flu situation on April 27.
A temperature measurer at the Tan Son Nhat International Airport.
Swine flu more dangerous than SARS
At today’s meeting, health experts confirmed that cooked pork and pork products
are safe. Swine flu is a respiratory disease, mutating in pigs and then passing
on to people.
The virus is a new type, which is a combination of North American, Asian and
European strains, bird flu and human flu virus. Though it is named swine flu,
the flu is transmitted from humans to humans. The WHO will inform the Vietnamese
Preventive Health Agency of any new development related to the disease.
According to the WHO’s warning, the swine influenza that broke out in Mexico and
the US was transmitted from pigs to some humans, and then from humans to humans.
This type of virus can spread very quickly, even more quickly than the Severe
Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). Scientists still don’t know whether its
toxicity changes or not.
The symptoms of swine flu in people are similar to the symptoms of regular human
flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and
fatigue. Some people have reported diarrhea and vomiting associated with swine
flu. In the past, severe illness (pneumonia and respiratory failure) and deaths
have been reported with swine flu infections in people. Like seasonal flu, swine
flu may cause a worsening of underlying chronic medical conditions.
Vietnam must not sit idle
The Vietnamese Health Ministry has stated that Vietnam has not detected any case
of swine influenza. However, the Chief of the Preventive Health Agency, Dr.
Nguyen Huy Nga, said that this virus could penetrate into Vietnam because there
are people entering Vietnam from flu-affected areas.
“We have asked hospitals to strictly keep track of patients who have flu
symptoms, particularly those who have travelled to Mexico or the US,” Nga said.
He said the Central Epidemic Prevention Institute and the HCM City Pasteur
Institute can do quick tests for swine flu, but the current strain is a new one
so Vietnam will have to send samples abroad.
“According to the WHO, treating swine influenza by Tamiflu and Relenza is still
effective. The WHO is doing research and hasn’t yet introduced a new remedy,”
The Vietnamese Health Ministry has asked related agencies at central and
grassroots levels to take immediate actions to prevent an outbreak of the disease.
Accordingly, local health agencies have to keep watch to discover people who
have symptoms of fever or pneumonia or breathing problems early. People who
enter Vietnam from Mexico and the US must pass a temperature check.
The ministry told hospitals to prepare medicines and equipment for use in case
the disease breaks out in Vietnam.
To protect themselves, people are advised to wash their hands often with soap
and water, especially after they cough or sneeze. People who come down with
influenza should stay home from work or school and go to the nearest clinic.
Hundreds of passengers have temperature tests at Tan Son Nhat Airport
The HCM City Department of Health and the International Health Quarantine Centre
have set up a checkpoint at Tan Son Nhat International Airport, HCM City.
Hundreds of passengers had temperature tests at this checkpoint on April 27.
This checkpoint is equipped with three temperature measures and 200 sets of
safety outfits. Each temperature measurer is operated by two experts from the
International Health Quarantine Centre and one doctor.
The Director of the HCM City Health Department, Nguyen Van Chau, said that any
passenger whose body temperature is more than 37oC will be isolated for a health
Doctor Phan Van Nghiem from the HCM City Department of Health said that health
experts will also be sent to some sea ports.
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