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Acute diarrhea concerns in Hanoi
01 | 11 | 2007
The Ministry of Health announced Tuesday that a dangerous acute diarrhea epidemic has appeared in the capital City of Hanoi and some northern provinces. The fatality rate of which may reach 50% without timely treatments.

Deputy Minister of Health Trinh Quan Huan said that since October 23, 2007, many patients have been hospitalised with identical symptoms: diarrhea, vomiting, and water exhaustion.


Most of them were cured at private consulting rooms or grassroots health stations but when transferred to central hospitals in Hanoi, they were diagnosed with dangerous acute diarrhea.


The number of patients is reportedly 33 so far, who come from 11 districts in Hanoi and some from the provinces of Ha Tay and Vinh Phuc. They are being treated in the Hanoi-based hospitals of Tropical and Contagious Diseases, Bach Mai, Dong Da and 198.


According to the Hanoi Department of Health, up to 90% of these people ate raw food, such as mam tom (shrimp paste). Dr. Trinh Quan Huan said that viruses in raw food makes patients have loose bowels and vomit continuously, causing serious water and electrolyte loss. If they are not treated soon, 40-50% patients may die due to cardiac collapse.


The virus accesses humans through raw food and exists in the patient’s waste. It now resists some antibiotics like Tetracyclin and Chloramphenic. The major treatment method is still water and electrolyte compensation.


The Hanoi People’s Committee has banned the use of shrimp paste at restaurants. The Ministry of Health also warns northern people to not eat half-cooked food, especially shrimp paste, raw seafood, goi ca (made of raw fish and vegetable), and fermented pork roll.


The Health Ministry worries that with food as the primary source, the virus can appear scatteredly. Without timely measures, it can develop into widespread epidemics and spread to other provinces.


The ministry has established a steering board for controlling this dangerous disease and will kick off a food inspection campaign in some northern provinces today, October 31.

Source: VietNamNet Bridge
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