|A doctor examines a woman at the National Ophthalmology Institute in Ha Noi. Kindergarten and primary schools in northern provinces have been hit by an outbreak of pink-eye (conjunctivitis). — VNA/VNS Photo Duong Ngoc
HA NOI (VNS) — Kindergarten and primary schools in northern provinces have been hit by an outbreak of pink-eye disease (conjunctivitis).
Dien Bien Phu City Health Centre in Dien Bien Province reported more than 350 infections last week.
Le Trong Canh, director of the Dien Bien Preventive Medicine Centre, said that the disease spread quickly in kindergartens and primary schools because students share face-clothes and wash-basins. One student could spread the ailment to an entire class.
Le added that conjunctivitis was also an airborne disease, complicating containment efforts.
Yen Bai Province reported an outbreak on September 3. Since then, more than 3,300 people have been affected in the province.
Significant outbreaks have also been reported in other northern provinces.
In Tuyen Quang Province, 1,500 patients sought treatment last week. In Ninh Binh Province, there was a 30 per cent increase in the disease. And in Bac Ninh Province, about 2,500 cases were reported in the past two weeks.
Health departments in Bac Ninh, Ha Noi, Lao Cai and Ninh Binh have given residents and schools tips on how to prevent the spread of disease.
Director of the Ha Noi health department, Nguyen Khac Hien, asked schools to improve hygiene in kitchens, bathrooms and with classroom toys.
He said students suspected of having the disease should be isolated.
Deputy director of the Ninh Binh Eye Hospital, To Thi Hoa, advised residents to wash their hands with soap and use Natri Clorid 0.9 per cent eye-drops.
The Yen Bai Preventive Medicine Centre held training courses on conjunctivitis prevention and control for 40 commune health workers in affected areas. — VNS