In the face of a high risk of measles transmission, the Preventive Health Centre (PHC) of the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho is promptly conducting preventive activities against measles in its districts, including a vaccination plan for local people.

By February 11, the centre in coordination with the Can Tho Paediatrics Hospital had taken 11 blood samples from patients with suspected symptoms of measles and sent them to the Pasteur Institute for testing.

Symptoms were seen in two residents in Ninh Kieu district of Can Tho, five in Hau Giang province’s districts of Phung Hiep, Chau Thanh and Chau Thanh A, three in Vinh Long province and one case in Soc Trang province.

Due to cold and wet weather, measles could outbreak in various localities across the country, according to the PHC.

To actively prevent the spread of the disease, the centre recommended local people to follow sanitation rules and ensure nutrient- rich food for children and get them inoculated against the disease.

According to the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology and the Pasteur Institute in Ho Chi Minh City, over 620 cases were reported showing signs of measles from the beginning of 2014 to February 5.

Of the number, 138 cases were recorded in Ho Chi Minh City, 120 and 80 in northern Lao Cai and Son La provinces and 30 in Hanoi. Most worryingly, northern Yen Bai province recorded 253 cases and one death.

Most of the patients had not been fully vaccinated against measles.

In 2013, the country saw 1,048 measles cases, mostly in children under the age of 10 (75.9 percent) and five (60 percent).

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), measles is one of the leading causes of death among young children. The disease, which is caused by a virus in the paramyxovirus family, causes about 330 deaths every day and 14 deaths every hour, according to the WHO.

Measles vaccinations resulted in a 78 percent drop in deaths between 2000 and 2012 worldwide, the organisation said.-VNA