HCM CITY — The Ministry of Health has issued a number of
recommendations in light of a recent incident in which some 16 patients,
their relatives and health officials at Từ Dũ Hospital in HCM City on
Saturday tested positive for swine flu (A/H1N1), according to the city’s
Preventive Health Centre.
Dũ Hospital has limited the number of patients in the endoscopy department to
reduce the risk of swine flu transmission. — VNA/VNS Photo
The ministry advises people to pay
more attention to personal hygiene, wash hands frequently with soap and use
masks as well as clean up the surroundings of their houses and offices.
When symptoms such as fever, coughing
and sore throats are detected, local medical facilities should be informed.
The elderly, children and pregnant women should avoid contact with people
with flu symptoms. It is also recommended that people only take medicine
prescribed by doctors and nothing else.
The virus A/H1N1 isknown to be able to survive for 24 to 48 hours
outside and eight to 12 hours in clothing items. It may also survive up to
four days in water bodies such as swimming pools and small water puddles.
The incident detected on May 30
involved a woman from the Mekong Delta province of Tiền Giang. She was
treated at the hospital’s endoscopy department with symptoms of fever.
At 12pm on the same day, five to
seven more people at the hospital reported fever and body aches. The number
continued to increase to 23 by the end of the day.
Of the 23, 18 were treated at the
department. The remaining were health officials who went home when their
shift ended, while several patients and their relatives were discharged from
the hospital, according to Dr Nguyễn Bá Mỹ Nhi, the hospital’s deputy
The hospital informed the Preventive
Health Centre and the city’s Department of Health and worked with the city’s
Hospital for Tropical Diseases to take tests and treat patients with fever
and those suspected of exposure.
The hospital also isolated patients
at the hospital and disinfected areas in the endoscopy department to stop the
spread among pregnant women there.
Of the patients, the ones who were
discharged from the hospital were allowed to go home and receive supervision
from the Preventive Health Centre if they reside in the city.
Patients from provinces were
reported to the city’s Pasteur Institute, which is in charge of working with
health authorities in southern provinces to control disease.
Dr Trương Hữu Khanh, head of the
city’s Paediatrics Hospital 1’s infectious and nervous diseases department,
Nam Newsthat people
should receive a vaccine against influenza and wash their hands thoroughly
and regularly to reduce the risk of flu infection as the A/H1N1 virus is
circulating in humans as a seasonal flu virus.
Pregnant women infected with the
swine flu are at a higher risk of complications such as pneumonia and
miscarriage, Khanh said.
As of Saturday, no new incidences
had been reported at Từ Dũ Hospital.