[health-vn] Vibrio cholera bacteria found during diarrhoea outbreak
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Fri May 15 07:32:17 EST 2009
Vibrio cholera bacteria found during diarrhoea outbreak
HA NOI — Acute diarrhoea has struck 124 patients in five cities and provinces
with 25 testing positive to the vibrio cholera bacteria.
The National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology said the northern province of
Bac Ninh was hardest hit with nine positive tests to the bacteria, followed by
Thanh Hoa Province, Hai Phong City, Ha Noi and Nam Dinh Province.
Deputy health minister Trinh Quan Huan said as of Tuesday the disease was
scattered in the provinces and cities and no concentrated outbreaks were recorded.
A lack of awareness on preventing the disease and the use of food which didn’t
meet safety and hygiene regulations were the major reasons for the outbreak, he
Patients were found to have eaten shrimp paste, raw vegetables, unhygienic and
street food, he said.
Huan said the disease could be spread further during hot and wet weather and by
people moving between provinces and cities. Rain and floods also create
favourable conditions for the virus to spread, he said.
Thanh Hoa Province’s preventive medicine department director Ha Dinh Ngu said
most of those testing positive to the bacteria were elderly with the oldest aged 80.
Weakened resistance made the elderly particularly vulnerable, he said.
The ministry, which reported developments to the Prime Minister, urged chairmen
of People’s Committees, directors of health departments and preventive medicine
departments nationwide to act to prevent acute diarrhoea spreading.
The ministry sent missions to high-risk localities to guide preventive measures
and help trace the origins of products suspected of causing the outbreak.
To help prevent more infections, health workers in northern Hai Phong City have
checked water sources and the quality of food products. They also sterilised
affected areas. More than 1,500 people in areas with acute diarrhoea patients
had been given preventive medicines.
In Thanh Hoa Province, health officials are working to prevent the disease
spreading while all districts have received equipment and medicines to fight the
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