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Mysterious skin disease kills 1 in Quảng Ngãi

Update: January, 11/2018 - 15:18
A doctor examines patients believed to be suffering from an unknown skin disease in Ba Điền Commune. — VNA/VNS Photo
Viet Nam News

QUẢNG NGÃI — A strange skin disease has claimed the life of a student in Ba Tơ District, central province of Quảng Ngãi, according to the provincial Health Department.

Nguyễn Tấn Đức, the department’s director, on Tuesday confirmed the death of the 13-year-old student from Ba Ngạc Secondary School in Ba Ngạc Commune.

The health centre in Ba Tơ District came across the student earlier this year. He was believed to be suffering from an unidentified skin disease, but was later diagnosed with dermatitis, a condition that causes people’s skin to peel off their feet and palms.

He also showed symptoms of high liver enzyme and septicemia (a blood infection), and was admitted to Đà Nẵng General Hospital for treatment. However, he died after a week.

The disease has resurfaced in Ba Tơ District after three years.

Ten cases have been reported from the end of 2017 till date.

The first case was reported in 2011; since then, 26 deaths have been reported, according to the Vietnam Television (VTV). 

Trần Đắc Phu, head of the Ministry of Health’s Preventive Medicine Department, said that the disease was more common in the age group between 15 and 29.

Earlier, after gathering evidence and consulting experts, the ministry concluded the disease was caused by mold, mainly aflatoxins, and by eating old rice, he said.

Aflatoxins are poisonous carcinogens that are produced by certain molds (Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus), which grow in soil, decaying vegetation, hay and grains.

The ministry has recommended to people not to eat old rice, to clean the environment and their bodies.

“The patient, who is confirmed to be suffering from this disease, must be treated according to the method defined by the ministry," Phu said.

Currently, the health sector is conducting disinfection in the area where the disease has resurfaced and is continuously working towards finding its cause. — VNS



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