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Dengue hits adults in Ho Chi Minh City as doctors warn of misdiagnosis

Doctor Nguyen Thanh Truong of the HCMC Hospital for Tropical Diseases examining an adult patient diagnosed with dengue fever. Photo credit: Tuoi Tre


Doctors have warned that they’re seeing an alarming rise in the number of dengue fever cases among adults, many of which are misdiagnosed.
Patients admitted to the hospital for the mosquito-borne disease have significantly increased since July and many are adults, said Dr. Nguyen Thanh Truong of the HCMC Hospital for Tropical Diseases.
“Many people still mistakenly believe that adults are totally immune to dengue, which has led to serious complications,” he was quoted by Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper as saying.
Truong said the hospital recently admitted a 25-year-old man suffering difficulty breathing and liver damage after he was mistakenly diagnosed and treated at a private clinic for influenza.
He had spent eight days receiving intravenous fluids.
At the Hospital for Tropical Diseases, doctors discovered the liver damage and treated him for high blood pressure caused by the erroneous transfusions, Truong said.
In another case, the hospital admitted an adult on August 12 with serious complications caused by internal hemorrhaging and multiple-organ failure.
The number of dengue fever patients at the hospital increased from 817 in June to 1,042 last month.
Meanwhile, the city’s hospitals also recorded an increase in dengue fever among children.
Children’s Hospital No. 1 and Children’s Hospital No. 2 have recently admitted a combined average of 90 pediatric cases a day.
Dr. Trinh Huu Tung of the Children Hospital No. 2 said the hospital has seen many serious cases in the past month.
Doctors have warned hospitals throughout the country to be keep a careful eye out for dengue fever.
A survey at the Children Hospital No. 2 found that the parents of roughly one in every three dengue fever patients mistakenly believed their children had only contracted a sore throat or minor digestive ailment.
“Any child who has a high temperature for three days has likely contracted dengue fever,” said Dr. Nguyen Tran Nam of the hospital.
Doctors said patients suffering protracted fevers should head for the hospital early because dengue fever can cause serious complications that appear suddenly–4-6 days after symptoms begin.
On August 3, the Hospital for Tropical Diseases admitted a four-year-old child from the Mekong Delta province of Long An for such complications.
The child had been misdiagnosed and treated for flu by a private doctor.
The child died two days after being admitted to the HCMC hospital due to severe cerebral hemorrhaging.

via Dengue hits adults in Ho Chi Minh City as doctors warn of misdiagnosis | Health | Thanh Nien Daily.

WHO ‘concerned’ over deadly Vietnam mystery disease

There’s been an outbreak of a mysterious skin disease in central Vietnam which has killed 19 people, mostly children.

DISEASE: More than 170 people have fallen ill with the unidentified illness, which causes stiffness in the limbs and ulcers on victims’ hands and feet that look like severe burns. (Photo: Hoang Dinh Nam/AFP)


The World Health Organization said Monday it was “concerned” about an outbreak of a mysterious skin disease in central Vietnam which has killed 19 people, mostly children.
More than 170 people have fallen ill with the unidentified illness, which causes stiffness in the limbs and ulcers on victims’ hands and feet that look like severe burns.
“We are concerned about this. WHO is very aware of this case,” said Wu Guogao, the organization’s chief officer in Hanoi, adding Vietnam had not asked for help with an investigation into the outbreak.
The WHO has not been given access to any official reports on the issue.
“It is difficult to say the exact cause at this stage,” he told AFP.
The disease appears to have been concentrated mainly in Ba To district in central Quang Ngai province and the WHO said it had not heard of similar outbreaks elsewhere in the country.
Local doctors said they were waiting for the results of a recent Ministry of Health probe.
“The results of the investigation (are) not yet available. Therefore, we don’t know anything more concerning the disease,” said doctor Dang Thi Phuong, director of Ba To district healthcare centre.
“As far as I know, the Ministry intends to invite foreign experts to the area to help us know more,” she told AFP, adding that many of the victims were under 10 years old.
Media reports said about one in 10 of those infected had developed serious liver disorders, but said the infection does not appear to be highly contagious.
Read More: mnn

Over half of hospitals yet to complete waste treatment systems

Some 56% of the hospitals in Vietnam have yet to complete their medical waste treatment systems, said Nguyen Huy Nga, head of the Department of Health Environmental Management under the Ministry of Health.

The recent diseases like hand-foot-mouse and H5N1-type influenza A are all concerned with environmental pollution and medical waste treatment, said Nga at the press briefing on Monday in preparation for the seminar named “Environment and health protection” to be held in Hanoi on April 12.

There are currently some 13,600 healthcare facilities nationwide, including 1,300 hospitals. At present, the daily amount of medical wastewater is about 150,000 cubic meters, which will double to 300,000 cubic meters in 2015.

In addition, local hospitals discharge 350-400 tons of solid waste every day, consisting of 40 tons of hazardous medical waste that need to be burnt in incinerators. Therefore, the demand for medical garbage treatment in Vietnam is very huge and is becoming an urgent need.

Catherine Galtier at APB France Environment Vietnam said expenditure is the primary difficulty of completing medical waste treatment systems at local hospitals. The hospitals have yet to include the expenses for waste treatment in their budget estimates and neglect this issue during their operations.

Regarding the investment in medical waste treatment, Nga said the capital can be sourced from credit funds, the State budget and others. Lately, the Government has allowed the health ministry to borrow some US$150 million for investment in waste treatment, in which US$140 million will be used for building waste treatment systems at the hospitals and US$10 million for developing policies and observatory systems.

One of the greatest challenges for environment and health protection is that about 50% of the households in rural areas lacks sanitary latrines. Even the already-constructed latrines have yet to meet the technological standards.

Related agencies and French experts hoped the situation would be remedied when the environment improvement technology that has been successfully applied in France is introduced in Vietnam at the upcoming seminar to be organized by the French Embassy in Vietnam and French International Trade Agency (Ubifrance).


Read More : vietnamnet

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