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Meningitis warning issued

Update: January, 18/2012 - 10:16

 

The cold climate change forecast for Tet could be a danger time for the spread of meningococcal disease, the Ministry of Health has warned.
HA NOI — The cold climate change forecast for Tet could be a danger time for the spread of meningococcal disease, the Ministry of Health has warned.

The Ministry has requested localities to perform preventative tasks to control any spread of the disease.

According to the World Health Organisation, meningococcal disease is a contagious disease caused by the bacterium Neisseria meningitidis.

It is spread by person-to-person contact through respiratory droplets from infected victims. Symptoms include stiff neck, high fever and rashes all over the body.

The disease is considered dangerous because the onset of symptoms is sudden and death can follow within hours.

In as many as 10-15 per cent of survivors, there are persistent neurological defects, including hearing loss, speech disorders, loss of limbs, mental retardation and paralysis.

According to the Preventive Medicine Department under the Ministry of Health, even if detected and treated at an early stage, the fatality rate is as high as 5-10 per cent.

The disease has a tendency to increase during climate changes and to spread in crowded places.

Doctor Tran Phu Manh Sieu, director of the HCM City Preventive Medicine Centre, told Tien Phong (Vanguard) newspaper that the possibility of contagion was high during Lunar New Year as people travelled to and from their ancestral homes.

Nguyen Nhat Cam, deputy head of the Preventive Medicine Centre, said that the first victim of meningococcal disease in Ha Noi was being closely kept under surveillance.

The patient, a salesperson from northern Nam Dinh City who is working in Ha Noi, was admitted to the National Hospital of Tropical Diseases more than a week ago.

She is now getting better and is expected to be discharged soon.

The woman is the first victim of the disease reported in the north. Two other victims in District 7, HCM City, are also reported to be recovering.

The HCM City Department of Health advised people with symptoms of the disease not to use antibiotics without a doctor's prescription and to go to hospital as soon as possible.

The Preventive Medicine Department will closely supervise those in close contact with patients and those suspected of having the disease.

It has advised people to wash their hands regularly with soap and use antiseptic mouth washes. — VNS

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