|A meningitis patient is treating a hospital. The health ministry's preventive medicine department yesterday asked provincial and city health departments to tighten supervision for early detection of meningitis cases nationwide. — Photo khampha.vn
HA NOI (VNS) – The health ministry's preventive medicine department yesterday asked provincial and city health departments to tighten supervision for early detection of meningitis cases nationwide.
Samples from risk groups or those coming in direct contact with meningitis patients must be collected for tests as soon as possible, along with measures for preventive treatment and to deal with the outbreak, the department said.
The directives were issued after the Hai Duong Preventive Medicine Centre reported that a young girl died from meningococcal disease, a contagious disease caused by the Neisseria meningitidis bacterium, on Wednesday.
Health departments have been requested to instruct hospitals and medical stations to prepare plans for quarantine, and to receive and treat patients, while preventive medicine centres should inspect and handle outbreaks.
Communication campaigns should be strengthened to improve the awareness of the people and the community about disease prevention. Localities should have enough medical staff, facilities and chemicals for taking measures to handle outbreaks.
The health sector said people should take care of their hygiene and take measures for disease prevention, such as regular washing of hands with soap and cleaning of living areas.
People showing symptoms such as high fever, headache and runny nose should immediately visit the nearest hospital for examination.
The health ministry said meningitis cases have been detected across several cities and provinces such as HCM City, Son La, Hoa Binh and Gia Lai, besides Nam Dinh and Lang Son provinces in 2015, including a recent death in Hai Duong Province in 2016.
Health experts said the meningococcal disease spread by person-to-person contact through respiratory droplets from infected victims. Symptoms include stiff neck, high fever and rashes all over the body. The disease is considered dangerous because the onset of symptoms is sudden and death can follow within hours.
People can take children to medical stations to get them vaccinated against meningitis. —VNS