Japanese encephalitis, commonly known as "brain inflammation", has claimed the lives of 10 children in the northern mountainous province of Son La, revealed Director of the provincial Health Department Lau Say Chu.

Most of the fatalities have yet received sufficient vaccination, Chu said, adding that the virus has infected 84 residents so far after its outbreaks have been reported across the province.

Symptoms include high fever, nausea and, in severe cases, seizures, paralysis and coma. Infants and the elderly are particularly vulnerable.

The department has urged parents to take their children under five years old to hospital when spotting symptoms in the children.

It also called on parents to follow vaccination schedule, which is now seen as the most efficient way to deter their children from contracting the disease.

The department reported that in July alone, Son La recorded nearly 3,000 cases of influenza, 1,200 cases of diarrhoea and 71 cases of measles.

On August 1, the northern mountainous province of Dien Bien launched a campaign to vaccinate children aged from one to 14 years old against measles and rubella.

Between September 22 and December 15, the campaign will spread across the locality with over 95 percent of children expected to be given shots.-VNA