Measles outbreaks continue to escalate in South Vietnam

Pasteur Institute in Ho Chi Minh City yesterday announced measles outbreaks have continued to escalate since middle of August showing no sign of abating.

Measles outbreaks continue to escalate in South Vietnam

The southern province of Dong Nai is leading with 135 cases followed by Binh Duong and Ba Ria – Vung Tau provinces.

Kids from neighboring provinces had been taken to infirmaries in HCMC causing patient overload.

For instance, the Children Hospital No.2 is treating 30 inpatients including six from Dong Nai province. From early August, the hospital has discharged 74 measles patients with 27 of them from Dong Nai province.

Most of measles kids are not vaccinated or not fully vaccinated because they are too young.

Likewise, the Children Hospital No.1’s infectious ward has received over 30 measles cases since the middle of August; most of them are from neighboring provinces without being immunized because they are below nine months old.

Head of the municipal Preventive Medicine Center’s infectious disease control ward Dr. Le Hong Nga said from the beginning of the year, the city reported 96 cases of measles especially in September.

In its vaccine campaign, the city health sector has injected measles vaccine on kids who were born in 2016 and 2017. Moreover, it is carrying out vaccination on kids from three to 5 years old.

Because measles cases surged drastically, Pasteur Institute organized an online meeting with 20 cities and provinces on implementation of prevention and control of the disease. Pasteur institute’s Head Professor Phan Trong Lan said that measles vaccine is not short requiring health authorities in provinces to have plan to eliminate the disease.

To prevent measles, health authorities must inject vaccine on vulnerable people; patients caretakers and medical workers in infirmaries must be immunized to curb transmission, Dr. Lan warned.

Worse, HCMC is entering its peak season of hand-foot-mouth with 290 cases last week, up by 47 percent compared to August; however, measles outbreaks continues to spread and shows no signs of slowing despite attempts to tackle the contagious infection.

Medical workers warned this year, parents must take heed to the disease especially for kids under five years old because more critical cases had been admitted to hospitals. Schools remain a potential hotspot for measles transmission without preventive measures.