Children in Bông Hiot village, Gia Lai Province, are being screened for diphtheria on Monday. — VNA/VNS Photo Quang Thái
GIA LAI — Three more diphtheria cases were recorded on Tuesday in a rural village in Gia Lai, bringing the total infections in the mountainous province to 13.
All of the newly discovered cases lived in the ethnic minority village Bông Hiot in Hải Yang Commune, Đắk Đoa District.
A four-year-old boy in the district has succumbed to the disease which he reportedly contracted after a visit to the neighbouring province Kon Tum as diphtheria infection outbreak in the Central Highlands rose to 56.
A nine-year-old girl and a 13-year-old boy in Đắk Nông Province have both died of the disease, and both showed heart complications when they were hospitalised.
Gia Lai health department has asked agencies to step up surveillance efforts to monitor the situation in Đắk Đoa District, quickly suppress outbreaks in the village, and continue to isolate suspected cases to prevent widespread transmission in the community.
The entire village was put on lockdown, with health workers and local public security personnel setting up checkpoints to watch over all entries or departures. Outsiders can only enter the village in cases of providing food or emergencies but will need to take preventive medicine.
All villagers have taken antibiotics and were examined by doctors. All those with symptoms of coughing and fever will be brought to medical facilities for treatment.
Gia Lai health department has asked the local medical facilities to stock up on medicines and equipment and stand ready to receive patients and provide emergency care for not only diphtheria cases but also other types of infections.
Information campaigns were also ordered to provide correct information to the population and avoid panic.
The provincial health department has asked the Ministry of Health for 100,000 diphtheria vaccine shots to be given to all people in Đắk Đoa District.— VNS