Hanoi hospitals packed with kids awaiting tapeworm tests

By Duong Tam   March 16, 2019 | 10:47 pm GMT+7
Hanoi hospitals packed with kids awaiting tapeworm tests
Parents and children wait for medical test results in the National Institution of Malaria, Parasite and Entomology in Hanoi March 16, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Duong Tam

Panicked parents in Bac Ninh have been flocking to Hanoi medical institutes with their kids after a tapeworm outbreak.

The National Institute of Malaria, Parasite and Entomology (NIMPE) and the National Hospital of Tropical Diseases respectively received 550 and 675 requests for tapeworm tests on Friday and Saturday.

Thousands of worried parents rushed to Hanoi with their kids after news broke out that 57 children of the Thanh Khuong Kindergarten in northern Bac Ninh Province have been found with tapeworm infections.

Late last month, pork suspected to be infected with the parasite was found in the school’s kitchen. The actual source of the tapeworms has not been confirmed yet.

"I’m getting impatient. I’ve been here since 5 a.m. but my child’s test results are not ready yet," said Nguyen Nhan from Dai Dong Thanh Commune in Bac Ninh.

Nhan and 10 other parents from the commune decided to bring their children to NIMPE Saturday after hearing the news about the 57 children getting infected with tapeworms.

Nguyen Van Nam, another parent from Dai Dong Thanh, said he had come to Hanoi because the school that his child went to had the same food supplier as the Thanh Khuong Kindergarten.

"I believe that there will be more parents coming to Hanoi next week," he added.

The number of infections detected by the medical facilities so far has not been revealed.

[Caption] Parents and children gather in front of a department in the National Institute of Malaria, Parasite and Entomology in Hanoi March 16, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Duong Tam

Parents and children gather in front of a department in the National Institute of Malaria, Parasite and Entomology in Hanoi March 16, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Duong Tam

The Ministry of Education and Training has ordered Bac Ninh’s Department of Education to carry out food safety inspections at schools in the province.

The pork suspected to be infected with tapeworms is being tested for food safety criteria, local officials have said.

Pork tapeworms, or Taenia solium, are distributed globally. The parasite infects humans through the consumption of contaminated food.

Upon infection, tapeworms can travel to different organs, including muscles, eyes and brain. Symptoms include seizure, paralysis, headaches and memory loss if the parasite does migrate to the brain, or blindness if it gets to the eyes.

It takes a day to kill mature tapeworms and two weeks to destroy all eggs inside a human body.

 
 
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