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Vietnam’s Bac Giang confirms another diphtheria case

Vietnam’s Bac Giang confirms another diphtheria case

Thursday, July 11, 2024, 13:21 GMT+7
Vietnam’s Bac Giang confirms another diphtheria case
A healthcare worker in Hiep Hoa District, Bac Giang Province, northern Vietnam is providing treatment for a patient at high risk of catching diphtheria. Photo: Hiep Hoa

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) of Bac Giang Province in northern Vietnam confirmed on Wednesday evening that it had detected one more diphtheria case.

The case, named B.H.G., is a 29-year-old native of Hoa Binh Province in northern Vietnam and works at an Internet cafe in Bac Giang's Hiep Hoa District.

G. is under medical treatment at the Hanoi-based National Hospital for Tropical Diseases, according to the Vietnam News Agency.

As this case is among 16 people who had been quarantined after having close contact with a diphtheria patient named M.T.B., there is little to no risk of transmission in the community, a CDC Bac Giang official told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on Wednesday.

M.T.B., aged 18, is a native of Nghe An Province in north-central Vietnam and a temporary resident in Hiep Hoa.

A CDC Bac Giang delegation will team up with the health authority of Hiep Hoa to monitor the health status of the quarantined cases as well as continue their contact tracing efforts on Thursday to prevent the disease from spreading further.

Previously, M.T.B. and her peer M.T.S. had required medical attention following the death of their roommate who contracted diphtheria.

M.T.B. and M.T.S. returned to their hometown in Nghe An’s Ky Son District to take part in the national high school graduation exam from June 25 to 28 and shared a room in a dorm with the patient.

The girls left Ky Son for Hiep Hoa on July 1 to work at a karaoke parlor.

After learning that their roommate died of diphtheria on July 5, the duo bought over-the-counter medicines to soothe their sore throat.

Two days later, M.T.B. was taken to the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases for medical treatment as she tested positive for diphtheria, while M.T.S. was put under quarantine.

Thanks to the timely treatment, M.T.B.’s health is now stable and she was sent back to her hometown for further treatment and quarantine.

The CDC Bac Giang official said that the close contacts with negative testing results still must stay under quarantine and have their health monitored for 14 days following their exposure to the diphtheria patient.

In related news, a 56-year-old resident with suspected diphtheria in Ha Tinh Province, north-central Vietnam tested negative for the disease on Thursday morning, Nguyen Chi Thanh, director of CDC Ha Tinh, confirmed to Tuoi Tre the same day.

Diphtheria is an acute bacterial infection that affects the throat and the upper respiratory tract including the nose, nasopharynx, nasal cavity, and pharynx.

This contagious disease can lead to outbreaks and can be fatal.

Diphtheria patients without proper treatment can die in 6-10 days.

To avoid catching the disease, people are advised to keep personal hygiene, wash hands regularly with soap, cover their mouth when coughing or sneezing, refrain from having contact with those with probable or confirmed diphtheria, and keep their homes and the surroundings clean and airy.

People with suspected diphtheria should seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Diphtheria is not only treatable but also preventable with vaccines.

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