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Lao, China borders carry measles threat

Update: January, 17/2015 - 09:25
The measles outbreak last year recorded a total of 3,930 cases and killed at least 129 people nationwide. Most fatalities resulted from pneumonia, a common complication of measles. — Photo vtv

HA NOI (VNS)— The Health Ministry has warned of a possible spread of measles from border areas into the country, made more likely by favourable climate conditions of the winter-spring season.

Deputy Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long said that according to an unofficial report from Laos, a measles outbreak had been recorded in several border localities and was developing without restraint.

"We have yet to receive an exact figure, but after connecting with officials in Laos, we acknowledge that the number of measles-caused fatalities has continued to increase in some areas in Laos," he said.

He stressed that there was a high risk for the disease to spread from Laos into Viet Nam as many Laotian people go to Viet Nam for health check-ups and treatment.

Localities along the border with China also face the threat of a measles outbreak. The disease appeared in China three years ago and has yet to be put under control, he said.

The Health Ministry has decided to provide measles vaccinations to people living along the concerning border areas since it is the most effective way of stopping its spread.

The measles outbreak last year recorded a total of 3,930 cases and killed at least 129 people nationwide. Most fatalities resulted from pneumonia, a common complication of measles.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), measles is one of the leading causes of death among young children. The viral disease causes about 330 deaths every day and 14 deaths every hour, according to the WHO.

The distribution of measles vaccinations had been largely successful, resulting in a 78 per cent drop in deaths between 2000 and 2012 worldwide, the organisation said. — VNS

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