Four deaths among children during outbreak of HFMD

By the end of June, four deaths were recorded among children during an outbreak of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) countrywide.
Symptoms of HFMD disease

Symptoms of HFMD disease

So far, the country has recorded more than 12,600 cases of HFMD, including four deaths. The number of cases is concentrated in the southern provinces, accounting for more than 70 percent of the country's total.

According to the Ministry of Health, there is currently no vaccine and specific treatment for HFMD. Professor Phan Trong Lan, Director of the Department of Preventive Medicine, said that each time a child gets sick, he can only create antibodies to a certain virus, so he can still get the disease again if infected with another virus.

The National Tropical Diseases Hospital, the National Pediatrics Hospital, the Hue Central General Hospital, the Children No. 1 Hospital, the Children No.2 Hospital, the City Children Hospital, the Tropical Diseases Hospital in HCMC and tropical disease hospitals in provinces and cities were urged to review conditions on human resources, facilities, medical equipment, drugs to receive severe cases.

At the same time, the Ministry of Health set up 7 delegations to inspect, supervise and direct epidemic prevention and control in 14 key provinces and cities.

Pediatric hospitals in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi show that the number of HFMD cases has increased rapidly in recent days. Ms. Le Thien Quynh Nhu, Chief of the Office of the Health Department of Ho Chi Minh City, informed that according to the above-mentioned infirmaries’ reports, the source of Plasma-derived intravenous Immunoglobulin, Phenobarbital for severe HFMD cases might face difficulties in the upcoming time during a prolonged disease outbreak.

Besides other drugs currently on the market such as Diazepam, Midazolam, and phenobarbital, Phenobarbital injection 100mg/ml - one of the anticonvulsants - is specially controlled. A business is currently responsible for supplying units in the area according to import orders. The order approved by the Drug Administration of Vietnam is expected to have the next batch of drugs in early July.

Immunoglobulin drugs are mainly imported into Vietnam. Currently, the winning drug bid establishments in the city are continuing to promote related procedures and coordinate with suppliers to supply drugs. In its guideline, the Drug Administration of Vietnam has requested to ensure enough supply of therapeutic drugs.

Professor Phan Trong Lan said that the Ministry of Health had directed pharmaceutical business establishments to make efforts to find supplies and urgently import Immunoglobulin drugs to Vietnam as soon as possible for timely treatment of patients with hand, foot, and mouth disease. As for other therapeutic drugs, the Ministry of Health has a plan in place in case there is a risk of limited supply.

The ministry also suggested localities have a plan for stockpiling, procurement, and timely reporting in case of a shortage of supply to ensure treatment and disease prevention.

Currently, 6,000 bottles of Immunoglobulin have been imported to Vietnam for the treatment of patients with hand, foot, and mouth disease.

Other news