Children under treatment at the General Hospital of Kien Giang province (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Health departments across Vietnam have been requested to augment supervision to detect and prevent viral encephalitis and bacterial meningococcal meningitis.

The Ministry of Health’s Department for Preventive Medicine said Coxsackie is an intestinal virus causing such diseases as encephalitis and hand-foot-and-mouth, which are usually recorded in children in the summer.

From April 20 to May 31, Bao Lam district of Cao Bang province reported 27 children between 2 and 22 months old with Coxsackie-induced diseases. Seven of them, all under six months old, died.

The northern mountainous province declared a Coxsackie A6 outbreak at the communal levels.

The preventive medicine department asked provincial health departments nationwide to step up efforts to detect encephalitis and hand-foot-and-mouth cases caused by Coxsackie, while suppressing outbreaks.

Local medical establishments must increase training for their staff, especially in rural areas. Communications on virus prevention should also be enhanced at schools and nurseries.

In Ho Chi Minh City, the first case of a person dying from meningococcal meningitis induced by Neisseria meningitides bacterium has been recorded.

The health ministry says the airborne bacterium can be found in both patients and healthy people. Young people have the most risk of infection from this bacterium.

It recommends people regularly wash hands with soap, gargle with normal antiseptic solutions, and keep living and working places clean. Children should be vaccinated against the disease, and people should see a doctor when they have high fever, headache, nausea, vomiting and a stiff neck.-VNA