Vietnam is taking measures to prevent and control cholera this summer, with only one case detected in the first quarter, head of Preventive Medicine Department Nguyen Van Binh told a workshop in Da Nang City on May 29.

The figure was two for the whole of last year and 606 cases in 2010.

The seminar, entitled "Epidemiology and measures for transboundary prevention of cholera in the Greater Mekong Sub-region", was aimed at raising awareness of the spread of the disease in the region.

"If we are well prepared to fight the disease to keep the ratio of deaths to under 1 percent," Binh said, "we have to raise awareness among the community on food and water safety and the need to clean hands."

Representatives of countries in the region focused their discussion on cholera prevention strategies at the workshop.

In the latest World Health Organisation survey, 39 percent of more than 4,500 confirmed cases of cholera in Vietnam were farmers.

WHO food safety officer Didier Tiberghien said the best prevention of cholera was improved sanitation, personal hygiene and sanitation behaviour.

A survey carried out in northern provinces showed that raw vegetables, shrimp paste and dog meat were major cholera suspects.-VNA