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VietNamNews

City in search of ‘Pied Piper'

Update: November, 24/2012 - 11:27

HCM CITY (VNS) — The HCM City Preventive Medicine Centre has asked local districts to draw up plans to reduce the rat population in the city, according to the centre's director Tran Phu Manh Sieu.

Sieu said the districts would submit their plans to the city's Health Department.

Under the project, residents will receive guidance from health centre officials on how to kill, collect and throw away rats following city regulations on safety, health and hygiene.

The centre is working with District 3's Preventive Medicine Centre which will kick off its programme in Commune 9 soon.

A resident in Commune 9 who was bitten by a rat recently tested positive for the Hantavirus, which can cause kidney failure.

He was hospitalised with a low platelet count, a high fever, cough and skin rash.

After the incident, HCM City Pasteur Institute tested 25 sewer rats and mice and found that three were carrying the Hantavirus.

Dr Vo Minh Quang, deputy head of the Tropical Diseases Hospital's Treatment Planning Department, said the Hantavirus was found in rat dung, urine and saliva.

The virus can cause hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome and Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome. The virus can cause kidney failure in humans.

Patients may suffer from headaches, back pain, extreme cold, vomiting and nausea. They can also develop a red face and skin rash. Low blood pressure and acute kidney failure can occur later.

According to Quang, there are no specific medications or vaccines against the Hantavirus, so prevention is important.

There have been no deaths attributed to the Hantavirus in Viet Nam.

The Pasteur Institute recommends that people prevent rats from entering their houses and touching food. They should avoid touching rats and their excreta.

People using mousetraps should wash their hands later. Mosquito nets should also be used during sleeping.

Dr Dang The He, director of the District 8 Preventive Medicine Centre, said that three months ago the centre killed a number of rats in Rach Cay U where the rats had destroyed water pipes.

He said that other local areas were actively trying to reduce the rat population in their areas. — VNS

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