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US supports Vietnam in monkeypox prevention: CDC Vietnam country director

US supports Vietnam in monkeypox prevention: CDC Vietnam country director

Friday, July 29, 2022, 13:50 GMT+7
US supports Vietnam in monkeypox prevention: CDC Vietnam country director
A person receives a monkeypox vaccination at the Northwell Health Immediate Care Center at Fire Island-Cherry Grove, in New York, U.S., July 15, 2022. Photo: Reuters

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is working with the Vietnamese Ministry of Health to increase the Southeast Asian country’s capacity for monkeypox prevention, a CDC representative told an online press briefing on Friday morning.

The cooperation has been taking place since June 1, according to Eric Dziuban, country director of the CDC Vietnam.

The support comes in multiple forms, from screening to monitoring, diagnosing, and testing, Dziuban said.

Monkeypox, which causes flu-like symptoms and skin lesions, was declared a global public health emergency by the World Health Organization on July 23.

Outside of west and central African countries where it is endemic, monkeypox has been spreading largely in men who have sex with men (MSM).

It spreads chiefly through close contact. 

As many as 21,148 monkeypox cases were reported in 78 countries as of Friday morning, according to the CDC.

Assessing the risk of monkeypox making its way to Vietnam, Dziuban said that every week the world sees a new country reporting the first case, so it would not be surprising if Vietnam follows suit, especially in the context of open international travel following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eric Dziuban, country director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Vietnam, in a photo provided by the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Eric Dziuban, country director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Vietnam, in a photo provided by the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi

He also assured that the country is prepared to identify cases early and contain the spread of infections.

“We have had two months of preparation,” he said.

The director added that his agency is working to make test kits available in Vietnam as soon as possible.

Addressing the sudden emergence of diseases like COVID-19 and monkeypox in recent years, Dziuban said that the CDC is working to identify why monkeypox is spreading in places it never existed before.

“We are still not sure whether it can be attributed to certain population groups, immigration, or climate change,” Dziuban said.

While saying a vaccine is only one of the solutions to monkeypox control, Dziuban elaborated that countries are working closely with vaccine companies to increase production.

The director emphasized the importance of educating people about symptoms and accurate messaging to avoid stigma within certain communities.

“Everyone can get the disease, but certain groups are more likely to be infected,” Dziuban said.

“We have to get appropriate messages to the audience."

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Bao Anh / Tuoi Tre News

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