HA NOI (VNS) — The Ministry of Health sent urgent dispatches to the Ministry of Transport and provincial and municipal People's Committees on Thursday asking them to take measures to prevent bubonic plague, which killed at least 40 people in Madagascar while also hitting other countries including the US and China. The Ministry of Transport was urged to tell those entering Viet Nam from plague-hit countries to promptly inform agencies about the hygienic conditions of their vehicles and the appearance of rats and fleas.
The health ministry also requested health departments in provinces and cities to instruct quarantine agencies to increase examinations of goods on vehicles returning from epidemic-stricken areas.
Media agencies were told to strengthen the dissemination of anti-plague measures among people, and encourage them to kill rats under the guidance of the agricultural sector.
The bubonic plague is caused by the bacteria Yersinia pestis, which is transmitted to humans via flea bites. It kills about one in ten victims. Patients first develop high fever, headaches and painful swelling in lymph glands. In extreme cases, their skin turns dark purple. If they are diagnosed early, they have a better chance of recovering.
Viet Nam has recorded no bubonic plague cases in the past 12 years. — VNS