Vietnam Reports Fresh Outbreaks of Cholera

by VR Sreeraman on  June 28, 2008 at 11:34 AM Tropical Disease News   - G J E 4
Vietnam is experiencing new outbreaks of cholera, the health ministry said Friday, despite efforts since last year to eradicate the dangerous bacterial disease.
 Vietnam Reports Fresh Outbreaks of Cholera
Vietnam Reports Fresh Outbreaks of Cholera

The country has endured three major outbreaks since late last year, casting a spotlight on often poor hygiene conditions in Vietnam's public spaces.

"Cholera and acute diarrhoea have returned to some provinces in northern Vietnam," Nguyen Huy Nga, director of the health ministry's department of preventive medicine, told AFP.

It earlier this year spread from its epicentre in Hanoi to southern Ho Chi Minh City and 16 provinces.

Authorities have recorded 600 cases of cholera since March, the last major outbreak of the disease, the official said, citing the ministry's most recent report.

There have been no deaths from cholera, an acute intestinal infection transmitted through water or food contaminated with the bacteria vibrio cholerae.

Cholera causes diarrhoea and dehydration, and can lead to kidney failure and death if untreated.

The World Health Organisation on Thursday urged Vietnam to improve water quality and sanitary systems to avoid the spread of disease.

"Once cholera is in the environment, it is pretty difficult to get rid of it," said Jean-Marc Olive, WHO representative to Vietnam.

Source: AFP

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