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HCM Measles outbreak fueled by lack of vaccine

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  • HCM Measles outbreak fueled by lack of vaccine


    Last Updated: Friday, November 20, 2009 22:03:56 Vietnam (GMT+07)

    Measles outbreak fueled by lack of vaccine

    Children with measles at Children?s Hospital No.2 in Ho Chi Minh City.
    Ho Chi Minh City has reported at least 10 young measles cases every day this month due to an inadequate supply of shots for the disease, doctors said.

    There were only twelve measles cases recorded in Ho Chi Minh City for all of 2008.

    Tran Thi Thuy, deputy head of the Infectious Diseases Department at Children?s Hospital No.2, was quoted Friday as saying that this year?s measles rate was the highest in the past ten years.

    There were 42 children being treated for measles at the hospital on Friday evening, two of them being assisted with respirators.

    The disease normally occurs from February to April, but the hospital had received many emergency cases this month, said Thuy.

    As of Wednesday, the hospital had admitted a total of 1,047 in-patients with measles this year, including 158 cases in the first half of this month alone.

    A ten-month-old girl died of measles in the hospital last Thursday, with doctors attributing the death to late hospitalization.

    Infections Diseases director Do Chau Viet said most of the children were from the city and half were under one year of age.

    Viet said the Pasteur Institute in HCMC was exploring the cause of the ?abnormal spread of the disease,? stating the preliminary findings showed that around 70 percent of the measles patients hospitalized were not vaccinated for the disease.

    Some mothers at the hospital recalled said there was a shortage of measles vaccines more than a year ago and many babies were not vaccinated.

    Children in Vietnam are given their first measles shots when they reach nine months old. They receive more shots at ages 1 and 6.

    Viet added that hotter temperatures recently had prompted more children to become infected with other diseases.

    This did not bode well for the future, he said, as youngsters who are sick now cannot be inoculated for measles, and would thereby become vulnerable to it in the future.

    He said that sick children whose immune systems are busy fighting disease cannot receive the vaccine as the inoculation consists of a small dose of measles, which could fully affect a weak child.

    Thuy added that some parents had chosen not to have theirs vaccinated as they were scared by headlines of vaccination-related deaths at children this year and last.

    Measles shots are free in Vietnam as part of the National Vaccination Program.

    Viet said measles is one of the planet?s most infectious diseases and parents should send their children to hospitals if they register fevers for more than 24 hours.

    Parents should let their sick children eat and bathe normally while allowing them to rest in well-ventilated places, he said.

    Source: Thanh Nien, Tuoi Tre

  • #2
    Re: HCM Measles outbreak fueled by lack of vaccine

    Updated October, 04 2010 11:54:48

    Campaign to eliminate measles launched
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    HA NOI ? A campaign to eliminate measles in Viet Nam by 2012 was launched yesterday by the Ministry of Health.

    National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology (NIHE) director Nguyen Tran Hien said the country had aimed to eliminate the disease by 2010 but failed. During the 2009 epidemic, 7,000 people, mostly children from one to five and adults from 18 to 26, contracted measles.

    By September of this year, about 1,600 cases have been reported.
    "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
    -Nelson Mandela