HCM City warns of measles risk in community

May 29, 2024 - 14:58
The HCM City Department of Health (DoH) has recorded two cases of measles in babies from Bình Tân District.
A medical worker examines a baby before vaccination. — VNA/VNS Photo Thùy Dung

HCM CITY — The HCM City Department of Health (DoH) has recorded two cases of measles in infants from Bình Tân District.

Both babies are 13 to 15 months old and have not been vaccinated against measles.

In both cases, the first symptom to appear was fever, with rashes appearing a few days later accompanied by respiratory infection.

The first case is a 13-month-old girl living in Bình Hưng Hòa B Ward. She was hospitalised with fever on the sixth day, and had a runny nose, rashes scattered all over her body, swollen eyelids and a sore throat.

After examination and testing, she was diagnosed with measles complicated by pneumonia.

The girl is currently being monitored and treated at the municipal Children's Hospital.

The second case is a 15-month-old boy living in Tân Tạo Ward. He was hospitalised with fever on the fourth day and also had a runny nose, along with a raspy cough, diarrhoea, and rashes on his ears, eyes and body.

The boy was diagnosed with measles and super-infected pneumonia.

He is being kept under special supervision at the Intensive Care Ward of the HCM City Hospital for Tropical Diseases.

Immediately after recording information about the two cases, the DoH directed the city’s Centre for Disease Control to coordinate with the Bình Tân District Health Centre to investigate epidemiology and implement prevention measures in the community.

According to an initial epidemiological investigation, no new cases related to the two patients have been detected in their homes.

In both cases, the infants have not been fully vaccinated according to the recommended schedule, and neither has been vaccinated against measles at all.

Family members said that the children had not been vaccinated because they were often sick, and because the parents worked far away and could not take them to get vaccinated.

The DoH said that due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the supply of vaccines was interrupted in 2022.

It has affected the vaccination rate for children. Many children have not been vaccinated on schedule or have not had enough doses.

After the vaccine supply situation was stabilised this year, the DoH deployed mass vaccination in all communes, wards and towns throughout the city to proactively prevent dangerous infectious diseases in children.

Reports showed that by the end of April this year, the rate of children who have received two measles shots is 93.2 per cent for those born in 2018, 90.1 per cent for those born in 2019, 91.7 per cent for those born in 2020, and 93.6 per cent for those born in 2021.

This coverage meets the minimum target required by the Ministry of Health, but does not meet the 95 per cent target set by HCM City, which is the necessary coverage level to create herd immunity, prevent disease outbreaks and move toward the goal of eliminating measles.

The DoH continues to call on parents to take their children to health stations for vaccination. — VNS