The Department of Preventive Health under the Ministry of Health on February 15 launched preventive measures against measles, which took the lives of three children in the country so far this year.

At an online-meeting in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, the Pasteur Institute in central Nha Trang city and the Central Highlands Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology , Deputy Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long confirmed if preventive measures are fully applied, the measles outbreak will be contained in two months.

He asked local authorities nationwide to strictly supervise the developments of disease to promptly deal with contracted people.

Provinces and cities, where measles is there, were requested to organise vaccinations for all children under two years old, who have not been fully vaccinated against the disease.

The National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology was asked to ensure the sufficient number of medicine and vaccine for the vaccination.

According to the department, 993 cases have been recorded in 24 provinces and cities so far this year, with one in Hanoi and two in northern Yen Bai province died.

The disease has developed into a small-scale outbreak mainly in northern mountainous provinces, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

Most of child patients are under ten years old, who have not been given full vaccinations.

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.

Measles vaccinations resulted in a 78 percent drop in deaths between 2000 and 2012 worldwide, the organisation pointed out.

Since 2000, more than 1 billion children in high risk countries were immunised against the disease through mass vaccination programmes.-VNA