Published Date: 2012-02-21 19:48:08
Subject: PRO/EDR> Hand, foot & mouth disease - Viet Nam
Archive Number: 20120221.1048374
HAND, FOOT AND MOUTH DISEASE - VIET NAM
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: Tue 21 Feb 2012
Source: Vietnamnet [edited]
Cases of hand, foot and mouth disease rocket
The developments of the disease in the past one and a half months showed that the this year the illness would likely be more serious than last year (2011), when about 100 000 people suffered from the disease and nearly 200 children died, Tran Thanh Duong, deputy head of the department, warned. Last year HFMD [hand, foot and mouth disease] peaked in April-May and again in August-September, but this year the disease has sharply increased in the 1st months, prompting the belief that a more complex and serious epidemic situation may be developing, he said.
According to the ministry's statistics, high numbers of HFMD patients in the past 6 weeks have been recorded in 10 provinces and cities, namely Hai Phong, Dong Thap, Khanh Hoa, Kien Giang, Can, Tho, Ca Mau, Dak Lak, An Giang, Vinh Long and Hau Giang.
So far this year, 124 children in Ho Chi Minh City have suffered from the disease, an increase of 18 patients compared to the same period last year. The number of wards or communes having at least 2 patients has increased to 28 from 13 in the 6th week. With 4 patients, Binh Chanh District's Binh Hung commune has led the city in the number of HMFD sufferers so far.
As of mid February, the number of children with HMFD in Vinh Long was 128, an increase of 40 from a year earlier, and one of them has died.
In Can Tho, 600 children have been admitted to the Can Tho Pediatrics Hospital since the beginning of the year, and 3 of them have died. The local health authorities have cleaned the environment and sprayed antiseptic at affected areas and their surroundings. Can Tho authorities have also launched a campaign for environmental hygiene across the city, especially in schools, kindergartens and families with children under 5 years old.
Meanwhile, patient overload has occurred in the Obstetrics-Pediatrics Center of the Da Nang General Hospital in the central city of Da Nang, where 140 children have been hospitalized despite the center having only 40 official sickbeds. These children were not only from the city but also from Quang Nam and Quang Ngai provinces.
Dr Nguyen Tam Lang, head of the Epidemiology and Entomology Department at the center, forecast that HFMD will have unforeseen developments this year and the disease will spread widely in central provinces.
From 6 Jan to 12 Feb 2012, the city had 46 children with HFMD, while during February 2011, only 4 children were found to have contracted the disease, the doctor said. As of 19 Feb 2012 the number of HFMD patients had increased to 61, he added.
This week the ministry will send 5 working teams to the affected localities to assist local authorities in controlling, preventing and driving back the epidemic, said Deputy Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long. The Preventive Health Department will also set up 12 additional teams to give support to local authorities, Duong said. Long requested local health authorities strengthen their efforts to combat the epidemic and that hospitals review their therapy regimens to make them more appropriate for each type of patient. The ministry will report the epidemic situation to the government and propose that it establish an interdisciplinary steering board to fight the epidemic nationwide, he said.
[This account of what promises to become a major outbreak of HFMD in the Central Provinces of Viet Nam is rather short on specific detail, other than lists of case numbers. HFMD has been a recurrent problem in Viet Nam as the ProMED-mail archived reports listed below witness. The early onset of the disease this year is unwelcome news.
A considerable amount of information has been accumulated in recent years about the epidemiology of HFMD and the several different enteric viruses associated with this disease. It is likely that as in previous years human enterovirus 71 is the predominant etiologic agent in this part of the world, but specific confirmatory or otherwise information is awaited.
A map showing the locations of the provinces of Viet Nam can be accessed at:
http://www.angelfire.com/co/hongnam/vnmap.html. - Mod.CP]