Hanoi battles deadly brain virus outbreak

By    July 10, 2016 | 09:18 pm PT
Japanese encephalitis is spreading rapidly in the northern provinces of Vietnam.

Six cases of Japanese encephalitis were reported in Hanoi in the last week of June, the government's online news portal cited Tran Dac Phu, head of the city’s Preventive Medicine Centre, as saying last Friday.

It has been confirmed that 15 cases of Japanese encephalitis are being treated at Hanoi’s Hospital for Tropical Diseases, said Nguyen Trung Cap, deputy head of the hospital’s emergency room.

Doctors from the Paediatrics Ward at the Hanoi-based Bach Mai General Hospital said 10 children are receiving treatment for the virus.

Health officials have confirmed infections in several northern provinces, including Hanoi, Hai Phong, Thanh Hoa, Thai Binh, Bac Giang, Dien Bien, Son La and Lao Cai.

Japanese encephalitis is a mosquito-borne virus that can spread throughout the year. However, its peaks during the summer months and becomes extremely contagious in May, June and July.

Japanese encephalitis is a life-threatening inflammation of the brain that can hit people of all ages, but is more common among children under 15.

The symptoms include a high fever, severe fatigue, headaches, a sore throat, nausea and seizures.

Health experts estimate that about one-third of patients die from the virus. Other victims may suffer nerve damage, a coma or paralysis.

Health official said people should keep their houses clean, get vaccinated and use mosquito nets to prevent the virus from spreading.

The city’s Preventive Medicine Centre will closely monitor the development of the disease in residential areas in order to detect infectious cases and prevent an outbreak.

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