Đặng Quang Tấn. — Photo vietnammoi.vn
Đặng Quang Tấn, Deputy Director of the Preventive Medicine Department, speaks to Kinh Tế & Đô Thị (Economic & Urban Affairs) newspaper on efforts to prevent infectious diseases in Việt Nam.
Could you tell us about the current situation of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in South Korea?
According to a report by the Korea Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, the country recorded its first case of MERS-CoV on September 8. The patient visited Kuwait on business and returned via Dubai.
The Ministry of Health in South of Korea has quarantined 20 individuals who had close contact with the patient including family members and those on the same flight. They are being monitored for signs of the disease.
None of the quarantined individuals have shown any sign of infection.
What measures has the Ministry of Health taken to prevent the disease from entering Việt Nam?
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), MERS-CoV is still occurring in some Middle Eastern countries. Individuals who have been exposed to infected animals, animal products or people will continue to spread sporadic cases to other countries.
Việt Nam’s Ministry of Health is collaborating with WHO and other countries to closely monitor the disease and produce solutions to prevent an outbreak.
At Việt Nam’s border, travelers pass through a body temperature monitor. Medical quarantine areas are established to observe travelers with unusual symptoms or fevers.
The ministry also distributes information so citizens can recognize and actively prevent the disease. So far, Việt Nam has not reported any cases of MERS-CoV.
Can you talk about testing for emerging viruses in Việt Nam and how we can inform people of this dangerous disease?
Việt Nam can now detect many emerging infectious diseases such as MERS-CoV, Ebola and H7N9 avian flu. The infectious disease surveillance system is working smoothly.
This is a dangerous epidemic, but people should not panic. The ministry has a strong network for surveillance and prevention.
However, people should regularly update the Ministry of Health if they think they have the disease. The ministry will continue to update the public with any new information on MERS-CoV on the Department of Preventative Medicine website. Travelers to or from the Middle East should be familiar with preventative measures and avoid exposure. — VNS