Published Date: 2012-04-16 22:04:54
Subject: PRO/MBDS> Undiagnosed illness - Viet Nam (04): Quang Ngai, update, RFI
Archive Number: 20120416.0858
UNDIAGNOSED ILLNESS - VIET NAM (04): QUANG NGAI, UPDATE, REQUEST FOR
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: Wed 11 Apr 2012
Source: Sai Gon Giai Phong [edited]
One more dead from strange skin disease in Quang Ngai Province
An unidentified skin disease spreading in the central province of Quang
Ngai since last year  has killed one more person last week,
bringing the total number of fatalities in the 1st fortnight of April
 to 7, said a medical official on 10 Apr 2012.
Dr Dang Thi Phuong, director of Ba To District Medical Centre, confirmed
that 4-year-old [girl] from Lang Rieu village in Ba Dien Commune died of
the unidentified disease at the Quy Hoa National Leprosy Dermatology
Hospital on [9 Apr 2012].
[The girl] is the 4th patient to have died of the disease within the 1st
fortnight of April . Since the beginning of the year , 7
people have died in the province from this unusual and as yet
unidentified skin disease. Their deaths were caused by multiple organ
failure, such as liver damage.
According to Dr Phuong, since the beginning of this year , 63
people have suffered from conditions like stiffness in the limbs and
ulcers on hands and feet, that resemble severe burns and flaking of
skin. 3 patients are still in critical condition.
Last year  the province recorded more than 150 people with similar
While Vietnamese health authorities have yet to identify the disease,
the Ministry of Health has approved a regimen for diagnosing and
treating the condition.
Under this protocol, mild symptoms can be treated with ointments,
anti-inflammation drugs, and vitamins, together with a dietary regime
and liver supplements.
Those with severe symptoms, including liver damage, have to be admitted
to hospital for treatment. The regimen also advises people to wash their
hands and feet after coming back from the fields, and avoiding direct
contact with pesticides and other such chemicals.
A mission team from the Ministry of Health will arrive in Quang Ngai
Province and Ba Dien Commune on [13 Apr 2012], to check on areas where
most of the patients were reported, to study the cause and development
of the disease.
[Byline: A Vinh]
Date: Fri 13 Apr 2012
Source: Sai Gon Giai Phong [edited]
Bizarre skin disease continues to spread
More people are reported suffering from stiffness of the limbs,
respiratory problems, and miscarriages, caused by a peculiar and
unidentified skin ulceration that has plagued the central province of
Quang Ngai since April , said medical authorities from the province.
According to statistics of the Son Ha District Medical Centre on [11 Apr
2012], the numbers of people suffering from the bizarre skin disease
have increased to 50, most of them being residents of Son Ba and Son Ky
Since [8 Mar 2012] to date, 3 inhabitants of Son Ky Commune have
succumbed to the disease and 13 others are suffering from eye disease
and respiratory problems.
Medical experts suspect the victims are suffering from poisoning from
chemical herbicides, as they were affected soon after spraying the
chemical in cassava fields.
The provincial health authorities have yet to determine the cause of
deaths, but believe use of high contents of chemical herbicides have
polluted the water sources in the commune.
Residents in these communes use [Kanup 480 SL], a herbicide, imported by
the Viet Thang Company in the northern province of Bac Giang. The
chemical was offered for sale on the company's catalog on [5 Nov 2011].
Samples of water, soil from cassava fields, and herbicide packages have
been collected for testing. Preventive medicine centres in the province
have warned people not to use the present water source but find an
alternative source. Farmers must eat meals before spraying on fields,
drink sugar water when experiencing symptoms, and visit a medical centre
[Byline: Ha Minh]
[These newswires update the situation of the strange and undiagnosed
disease in Quang Ngai province. In the 1st 3 months of 2012, 63 people
were reported to have this disease and among those, 7 people died. In
2011, more than 150 people had this disease, and 2 people died. The
pathological agent has not yet been confirmed though a herbicide has
been pinpointed to be the cause of the disease. A specific herbicide
brand was identified. However, this herbicide has been imported since
November 2011 while the 1st report of the disease was in April 2011.
PRO/MBDS would appreciate further information from knowledgeable sources
regarding this undiagnosed illness in Quang Ngai province, Viet Nam.
For a map of Viet Nam with provinces, see
For the interactive HealthMap/ProMED-mail map with direct links to other
outbreaks in Viet Nam and surrounding countries reported on ProMED-mail
and PRO/MBDS, see http://healthmap.org/r/1f3d. - Mod.QCN]