Updated  
April, 10 2014 09:06:00

Viet Nam attempts to hold back deadly measles strain

Since the beginning of 2014, a total of 2,492 cases have been confirmed as measles.— Photo nld

HA NOI (VNS)— The head of Viet Nam's General Department of Preventive Medicine, Tran Dac Phu, announced on Tuesday that the department would work to contain the outbreak of measles over the coming months.

The statement comes as Viet Nam recorded 25 deaths from the disease at the end of last month. Since the beginning of 2014, a total of 2,492 cases have been confirmed as measles.

Speaking at an online conference on the prevention of measles, Phu said that 87.6 per cent of measles patients either had not been vaccinated or it was not clear from their medical history whether they had received the vaccine. Meanwhile, only 4.2 per cent of vaccinated kids had contracted the disease afterwards.

Phu cited testimonials from local medical experts saying the recent epidemic in Viet Nam would be controlled and gradually reduced in the coming months as weather conditions improved with a drier summer. Phu also confirmed that nearly half of the children aged between one and two years old had been vaccinated in March.

Viet Nam is expected to finish administering measles vaccinations to the remaining children in April. According to Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long, who also attended the online conference, around 23 million kids under 14 are expected to be vaccinated against measles and rubella (also known as German measles) until 2017.

The Ministry of Health has also established five groups to monitor the implementation of the vaccination programme in provinces across the country.

By September this year, the ministry is expected to have carried out a Rubella – Measles vaccinations for 23 million children between the ages of one and 14 years old. — VNS

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