Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Experts have confirmed that three children from Cao Bằng Province’s Đa Thông Commune did not die of encephalitis-meningitis.
The samples collected from the children were found to be negative for the Japanese B Encephalitis virus and Meningococcal bacteria. They are the two agents causing encephalitis-meningitis that is currently circulating in the country.
The initial results of the tests were revealed by the Ministry of Health’s General Department of Preventive Medicine on Thursday.
Trần Đắc Phu, head of the department said the results meant the children did not die of encephalitis after eating litchi fruit, as local residents believed. The residents thought that the Japanese encephalitis virus was carried by birds. During litchi season, the birds eat the fruits and leave the virus. The children then ate the fruit and were believed to be exposed to the virus.
But it was not the case.
The ministry reported that three children from one family, including two girls, were taken to Cao Bằng General Hospital on June 9 showing symptoms of vomiting, headaches, trauma and convulsion. Two died soon after being hospitalised, while the other is still recovering.
Previously, another child from the same family was found dead at home with the same symptoms on June 9.
Lý Văn Dẩu, the father of the children, told Dân Việt (Vietnamese People) online newspaper that he found the children vomiting and complaining of headaches after he and his wife returned from working on their field on June 8. He thought the children had caught a cold.
However, when one of his children was found dead on the morning of June 9, he quickly took the other three children to Thông Nông District’s General Hospital. Soon after, the children were moved to Cao Bằng General Hospital for further treatment.
Nguyễn Văn Lê, deputy head of the provincial Health Department, said no new cases have been reported in the commune so far.
The local health sector is keeping a close watch on the situation to avoid unexpected incidents. It has already warned local people to go to the nearest hospital if they suffer from vomiting and headaches, he said.
The health ministry will announce the official cause after conducting further tests. —VNS