134 people quarantined in provinces following diphtheria death

By Thuy Quynh   July 8, 2024 | 09:48 pm PT
134 people quarantined in provinces following diphtheria death
Medical officials take samples from people in Nghe An Province for diptheria testing, July 2024. Photo by VnExpress/Hung Le
Authorities have quarantined 134 people in the central Nghe An and northern Bac Giang provinces for being in close contact with two diphtheria patients, one of whom has died.

The deceased, an 18-year-old woman who lived in Nghe An's Ky Son District, had been in contact with 119 people, the Nghe An Center for Disease Control said Monday.

She died on July 5, around 10 days after contracting the disease, becoming the first known diphtheria death in the province this year.

The 119 people live in Ky Son and Tuong Duong districts, with two of them visiting Bac Giang, and one of them, an 18-year-old woman who had shared a room with the deceased patient, also testing positive for diphtheria.

She is now being treated at the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Hanoi.

Through contact-tracing, Bac Giang authorities found 15 people who had been in close contact with her, and quarantined them.

Authorities have yet to declare the health status of the other person who traveled to Bac Giang.

The quarantined people are being treated with a seven-day course of antibiotics.

Authorities are checking the vaccination status in relevant areas.

The woman who died at first had symptoms like coughing and fever. She bought medicines for herself and wrote the high school graduation examination on June 26.

She went to the Ky Son medical center for a check on July 1, where she was diagnosed with diphtheria.

Doctors recommended that she should go to a better hospital, but her family wanted her to get treated in Ky Son saying it could not afford anything else.

Her condition badly worsened on July 4, with septic shock and multiple organ failure, and she was admitted to the Nghe An friendship general hospital.

She died the next morning.

Her roommate who traveled to Bac Giang found she had a sore throat on July 5, and later tested positive for diphtheria.

Diphtheria is a contagious airborne disease with an incubation period of around two weeks after which an infected person can spread it.

Symptoms include a sore throat, gray or white patches in the throat, severe breathing and swallowing difficulties, myocarditis, paralysis, and, very often, death.

Vietnam's national vaccination program immunizes people against diphtheria.

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