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Vietnam’s health ministry releases guidelines for Ebola treatment

Saturday, October 18, 2014, 18:22 GMT+7
Vietnam’s health ministry releases guidelines for Ebola treatment
A health worker poses inside a tent in the Ebola treatment unit at the University Hospital of Yopougon, Côte d'Ivoire on October 17, 2014.

Vietnam’s Ministry of Health has promulgated guidelines for diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of the Ebola virus disease (EVD) that has killed over 4,500 people in African countries.    

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The guidelines were introduced on Friday at a meeting between the health ministry and relevant agencies, under the chair of Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam, to review measures employed to prevent a possible penetration of the deadly Ebola virus into Vietnam.

All hospitals that have been assigned to treat EVD patients, if any, have been provided with the guidelines and they are required to strictly comply with them, said Tran Dac Phu, head of the ministry’s Preventive Health Department.

Protective clothes and devices have been supplied to health workers at these hospitals, Phu added.

Currently, screening visitors’ body temperature through remote temperature sensors and applying health declarations to those coming from countries hard hit by Ebola are two measures taken to detect the deadly virus, the official said.

In order to find signs of an Ebola infection from passengers coming to Vietnam by road, many major border gates, such as Huu Nghi in the northern province of Lang Son, have been equipped with remote temperature sensors, he added.  

Over the past two months, about 270 people from East African countries have entered Vietnam, mainly through Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City, the preventive health department said.

Most of these visitors arrived from Nigeria, which is one of the six African countries whose people are required to fill out health declaration forms when they visit Vietnam, under a recent regulation of the health ministry.

Almost nobody from five other African countries, including Sierra Leone, Liberia, Congo, Guinea, and Senegal, arrived in Vietnam during the period, the department said.

Ebola is a highly dangerous virus that can kill 90 percent of infected people, the health ministry warned, adding that Ebola infection is transmitted by direct contact with the blood, bodily fluids, and tissues of infected animals or people.

As a severe acute viral illness, the EVD is often characterized by the sudden onset of fever, intense weakness, muscle pain, headache, and sore throat, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

On Friday, AFP cited WHO statistics as showing that 4,555 people died from the EVD out of a total of 9,216 cases recorded in seven countries as of October 14.

These countries are Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Congo, Guinea, Congo, and the U.S.

Most of the fatalities were in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, the three worst affected nations by far, the WHO said.

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