Viet Nam News
QUẢNG NAM — Two students died of diphtheria at a boarding school in the mountainous Tây Giang district of Quảng Nam province, director of the provincial health department, Nguyễn Văn Hai, confirmed to the Việt Nam News on Tuesday.
Hai said the two students – Bhling Boong, 17, from A Vương commune, and his schoolmate ZơRâm Sáo, 17, from A Xan commune – died on January 4 and 9, respectively.
He said 11 other students, kitchen staff and teachers, suspected of being infected with the disease, had tested negative for diphtheria and were well and 21 students have been quarantined for further monitoring at local medical centres and at home.
According to the provincial health department report on Monday, Bhling Boong displayed signs of illness on December 24, when he had difficulty breathing and a high fever. He died on the way to hospital on January 4. Local medical staff did not conduct any tests on his excrement.
ZơRâm Sáo, 17, was found ill on January 2 before going to hospital on January 7, where he died two days later. Sáo’s stool tested positive for diphtheria.
Three cases of fever and sore throat, symptoms of the bacterial infection, are being treated at Đà Nẵng pediatrics and obstetrics hospital and Tây Giang district’s health centre. They tested negative for the disease.
The department, in collaboration with the Nha Trang Pasteur Institute, carried out chemical spraying and cleaning of houses and schools in 10 communes of Tây Giang district over 10 consecutive days, as well as vaccinating residents.
The district has a population of 16,000, of which 90 per cent are members of ethnic groups. Many live in poor households and some were not immunised against the disease.
The school, 50km west of Quảng Nam Province’s Tam Kỳ City, is home to 789 students, 71 teachers and kitchen staff.
In 2015, three people in the province’s Phước Lộc Commune also died of diphtheria. — VNS