Measles has been reported in 43 out of 64 provinces and cities nationwide with 664 patients since early this month, particularly in the south (Photo: VNA)
 
Hanoi (VNA) - Measles has been reported in 43 out of 64 provinces and cities nationwide with 664 patients since early this month, particularly in the south, according to the Ministry of Health.

The ministry noted that up to 90 percent of infected children had not received a vaccination, leading to a high risk for the disease to spread.  
In late 2018, the ministry launched an additional measles-rubella vaccination campaign for 4.2 million children aged between 1 and 5 in 57 provinces and cities.

In Ho Chi Minh City, measles cases were discovered in all 24 districts with the majority of cases recorded in Binh Thanh, Thu Duc and Binh Chanh districts.

The city’s Preventive Medicine Department reported that surveys revealed 95 percent of measles patients were not vaccinated.

The capital city of Hanoi had recorded 114 cases of measles since the start of 2019, a sharp increase in comparison with the same period last year when only eight cases were reported, the municipal Health Department said.      

Of the figure, 89.1 percent of patients had not been vaccinated or did not have full vaccinations against the disease.

Director of the city’s Disease Control Centre Nguyen Nhat Cam said measles was a highly infectious respiratory disease and often infected children under five years old or adults who were not vaccinated or did not get full vaccinations. Symptoms include fever, coughing, runny nose, inflamed eyes and red, flat rashes on the skin. It can spread very fast, particularly in crowded places.

The municipal Department of Health last year decided to run an additional measles-rubella vaccination campaign for children aged between 1 and 5. The campaign, starting last November, has vaccinated 574,191 out of 607,023 children, equalling 95 percent.

The department warned that people should be more active in getting vaccinations. Many parents delayed vaccinating their children over worries about side effects.

The first shot against measles was supposed to take place at nine months old and the second shot at 18 months old, according to the Ministry of Health’s national immunisation guidelines. 

In the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak, measles has spread again after being brought under control in late 2018.

The situation had become complicated as measles had been reported in both children and adults who were not vaccinated, particularly those in the province’s remote areas, according to director of the provincial Preventive Medicine Centre Pham Van Lao.

The provincial health sector was taking many measures to prevent the disease from spreading further by vaccinating children between 1-5 years old and those who were not vaccinated, providing health check-ups for early diagnosis and raising public awareness of preventive measures against measles, he said.-VNA