On the afternoon of July 7, the Ministry of Health held an urgent meeting on diphtheria prevention as the contagious disease is evolving into a complicated situation in Vietnam Central Highlands, with a total of 63 infections, including three deaths.
According to Prof. Nguyen Thanh Long, Acting Minister of Health, the diphtheria epidemic situation of this year is different from that of previous years. The infections are found in more areas, across all ages and at a relatively high rate of mortality. Therefore, he urged the utmost attention to diphtheria prevention as that of Covid-19 epidemic prevention.
He assigned the Department of Preventive Medicine to coordinate with the National Expanded Immunization Program to immediately launch a large-scale vaccination campaign for children of all age groups. It will first be carried out in the four Central Highlands provinces of Dak Nong, Kon Tum, Gia Lai and Dak Lak and two high-risk neighboring provinces of Quang Ngai and Quang Nam.
Moreover, the Ministry of Health has directed the Central Highlands Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, the Departments of Health, and the Centers for Disease Control of these localities to put people under surveillance in order to control the disease situation. Early detection is set as prior; therefore, sample collections from people who have physical contact with the infections and diphtheria virus carriers is a must to avoid spreading the pandemic.
Translated by Mai Thi Thuy Trang and Nguyen Hoang Minh Nhat