JavaScript is off. Please enable to view full site.

25 children die of measles; Vietnam experts suggest declaring epidemic

Tuesday, April 15, 2014, 16:01 GMT+7
25 children die of measles; Vietnam experts suggest declaring epidemic
Children with measles are taken care of by their relatives at the Central Pediatrics Hospital, located in Hanoi, in this February 2014 file photo.

Twenty-five children have died of measles complications since the disease recurred in Vietnam late last year so many experts have recommended that the Ministry of Health declare the disease an epidemic. 

>> Measles vaccination campaign launched for children under 2
>> Vaccination must be boosted to combat measles, expert says

>> Measles cases increasing in Ho Chi Minh City

>> Measles spreads in Hanoi, with dozens of kids affected per day

The recommendation was made after many health specialists found that the measles virus appears to have become more dangerous as it can damage the lungs of patients and thus claim their lives rapidly.

“There have been changes in the measles virus, which now can attack the lungs of child patients, causing rapid respiratory failure in many children who therefore had to rely on respirators,” said Dr. Nguyen Tien Dung, head of the Pediatrics Department of Hanoi-based Bach Mai Hospital.

Criteria for declaring a measles epidemic should be reviewed, according to Dr. Nguyen Thanh Liem, former director of the Central Pediatrics Hospital, located in the capital.

The current measles situation is serious enough to be seen as a pandemic so such a declaration should be made, Dr. Liem said. 

“Else people will not be aware of the danger a measles epidemic may pose,” Dr. Liem said.

Hospitals should shake hands with schools and the whole community to fight measles in order to combat the disease effectively, he added.

Dr. Pham Nhat An, deputy director of the Central Pediatrics Hospital, said that it is time for the health sector to declare measles an epidemic.

A delay may lead to a lack of vigilance among the public, contributing to the spread of the disease, Dr. An warned.

Measles is a benign disease but it can spread rapidly and 90 percent of children who have contact with measles-suffering peers may contract the measles virus, Dr. An said, adding that even adults can develop measles if their immune system fails to resist the virus.

The doctor said the Central Pediatrics Hospital every day receives 20 children with measles and many patients have had to share beds or lie down on the hospital’s corridor.  

Measles can cause rapid immunodeficiency, leading to other ailments, including pneumonia and diarrhea, which can be very serious and even cause death, said Tran Dac Phu, head of the ministry’s Preventive Health Department.

'No virus changes reported'

Despite experts’ warning, Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long said at a meeting last week that there is no report on any changes in the toxicity of the virus, which has two types: H1 commonly found in northern Vietnam and D8 rampant in the southern region. 

At the meeting, the ministry said that the measles recurred in Vietnam in late 2013 and the agency has since taken measures to prevent the spread of the disease.

However, a number of experts said that it was not until February this year, when three children died of complications from measles, that the ministry began to take action to cope with the illness.

In addition, the ministry did not launch a national measles vaccination campaign until last month, when the measles tended to spread widely and rapidly, experts pointed out.

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to get the latest news about Vietnam!

Tuoitrenews

More

Read more

Vietnam ladies’ dens for foreigners in the city

It’s a new disguised ‘variant’ of prostitution in Ho Chi Minh City, in which foreign males enter restaurants to meet and select girls to end their night at private homes or a rented house

5 years ago
;

Photos

VIDEOS

Experience summer sand-boarding in Mui Ne

Sand-boarding, a popular activity amongst local children in the coastal tourism town of Mui Ne in south-central Vietnam, is attracting hundreds of tourists to the Red Sand Dunes

Young maple trees given better protection as Hanoi enters rainy season

The trees are currently growing well, with green leaves and healthy branches.

Hunting skinks for food in southern Vietnam

Skink meat is known to be soft, tasty, and highly nutritious.

Vietnamese-made app allows people to grow real veggies via smartphone

Nguyen Thi Duyen, a young engineer in Hanoi, developed the app and its related services to help busy people create their own veggie gardens.

Chinese tourists hit by Vietnamese over dine and dash

Four Chinese were reportedly injured, with one having a broken arm.

Latest news