HCM CITY (VNS) — A new genotype D8 of measles virus has been identified in the on-going epidemic in the southern provinces by HCM City Pasteur Institute, however those who have been properly vaccinated will not be seriously affected, said health expert.
The disease has broken out in 19 southern provinces and cities.
According to WHO, there are currently 8 grades designated A,B, C,D,E, F, G and H. Within these grades, there are 23 recognised genotypes including A, B1, B2, B3, C1, C2, D1, D2, …, D8, D9, H1, and H2
Of them, genotype H1 is endemic in Viet Nam and caused outbreaks in 2009.
Dr Truong Huu Khanh, head of the HCM City Paediatrics Hospital No.1's neurology and infectious diseases ward told Viet Nam News there is no worry about the dangers of the genotype D8 because it does not present any further danger than the previous genotype of the disease.
It also does not foster epidemic transmission, Khanh said.
Moreover, the genotype D8 does not reduce the effectiveness of the vaccine, he added.
The existing measles vaccine belongs to genotype A, he said and added that it prevents against all genotypes of the virus.
The genotype D8 was isolated from sporadic measles cases in some countries including China, Japan and Malaysia.
It is important to raise the measles vaccine coverage among the community, he said, and added that this is the best method for preventing measles.
According to HCM City Preventive Health Centre, it has asked its branches in districts to increase vaccination for kids in their locality.
There have been more and more campaigns aimed encouraging residents to bring their children to health centres for vaccination.
The Department of Health also is co-operating with Department of Education and Training to strengthen preventive methods at schools in the city.
The educational division in District 11 asked its schools and kindergartens to encourage parents to bring their babies to receive measles vaccines under the National Expanded Programme of Immunization.
Huong Sen Private Kindergarten in Go Vap District works with the district health centre to provide information on preventive methods for measles.
And, its teachers also encourage their babies who have not got vaccines or who have only had the first shot to come to health centres in the district's ward to get the second shot.
According to the Preventive Health Department, so far, nearly 2,000 patients with measles have been recorded throughout the country. Of them, 80 per cent have not had vaccinations or have only had the first shot. — VNS