HA NOI — Three cases of meningococcal disease and 72 cases of hand-foot-mouth disease have been reported nationwide since January 21, Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Viet Tien said yesterday.
None of the cases were fatal, he said. One case of meningococcal disease was in Ha Noi and the other two were in HCM City, with all three patients in stable conditions, he added.
The meningococcal patient in Ha Noi was a three-month-old girl from Me Linh District who was taken to the National Paediatrics Hospital on January 16 with a high temperature, vomiting and diarrhoea. She is currently under supervision at the hospital in a stable condition.
The National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology joined hands with the Ha Noi Department of Preventive Medicine to sterilise the areas around the patient's house and instructed those who had come into contact with the patient. No further outbreak has been detected.
Two meningococcal patients in HCM City, aged two and six, were also tested positive with the meningococcal bacteria.
About 650 meningitis cases have been reported per year over the last 10 years, with most of the patients in northern provinces, said the director of the Ha Noi Department of Preventive Medicine, Nguyen Van Binh. Last year, 305 cases were reported, resulting in four fatalities, he said, adding that the disease often occurred in spring when the weather was humid and the bacteria could spread quickly.
The disease can cause brain injury, causing patients lose their hearing and suffer from septicaemia, said Binh.
Meanwhile, the northern city of Hai Phong has reported 48 cases of hand-foot-mouth patients since January 21, followed by Ha Noi with five. The remaining 19 cases were in southern cities and provinces.
During the recently-conluded Tet (lunar new year) holiday, 146,260 were admitted to hospitals nationwide, according to figures from municipal and provincial departments of health. Over 22,600 of these were hospitalised for injuries suffered in traffic accidents.
No major food poisoning outbreaks affecting more than two victims have been reported this month, according to the Ministry of Health. — VNS