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VietNamNews

Viet Nam takes measures to prevent Ebola outbreak

Update: August, 07/2014 - 09:39
The National Hospital of Tropical Diseases is working on a plan for diagnosis and treatment of Ebola.— Photo baonamdinh.com.vn

HA NOI (VNS) — The Ministry of Health is stepping up efforts to stop the Ebola virus from entering Viet Nam.

Speaking yesterday at an online conference of the Steering Committee for Epidemic Prevention and Control, Tran Dac Phu, head of the Department of Preventive Medicines under the ministry, warned that the virus could enter Viet Nam.

This could be through Vietnamese and others arriving from affected countries.

Phu said the Ebola rate was disastrous in West Africa. The World Health Organisation said yesterday the virus had already killed 932 people.

The Ministry of Health has advised the Government on its preparations and asked that all border gates seek medical information from those passing through.

The National Hospital of Tropical Diseases is working on a plan for diagnosis and treatment of Ebola.

Health Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien also asked all agencies to tighten inspections at hospitals and border gates.

She also warned Vietnamese to stop travelling to affected countries.

Suspected samples of the disease can be sent to the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology and Pasteur Institute in HCM City.

Also yesterday, Nguyen Khac Hien, director of Ha Noi Department of Health, asked the Centre for International Health and Quarantine in Ha Noi to increase monitoring and to stay on the alert.

In related news, HCM City Preventive Medicine Centre reported that there had been a 7 per cent increase in hand, foot and mouth disease in the last six months, with 3,347 cases reported.

Preventive Medicine divisions in HCM City's districts have been told to step up surveillance for the disease at kindergartens and neighbourhoods with a large number of rented houses to prevent its spread.

Nguyen Tri Dung, head of the centre, said that people living in rented houses – many of them workers – had less awareness of disease.

Dung said that officials in districts, especially Hoc Mon and Binh Tan, should not relax because the disease showed signs of easing last month. Only 697 cases were reported then, down from 975 in June.

There was also a 47 per cent increase in dengue fever to 531 last month from June due to the onset of the rainy season.

Hoc Mon District reported the highest incidence with 84 cases after it failed to carry out regular surveillance of high-risk areas. The mosquito larvae index in the district has been high.

The district's Preventive Medicine Division plans to spray chemicals and clean up neighbourhoods. — VNS

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