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Jul 25, 2022 / 18:13

Vietnam steps up surveillance amid monkeypox outbreak in 75 countries

Vietnam will monitor people returning from countries that are facing monkeypox outbreaks.

Vietnamese health authorities have called for efforts to monitor international arrivals at border gates to detect monkeypox, which has been reported in more than 75 countries worldwide, Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Lien Huong said at a meeting this weekend.

 "Being aware of this problem and its responsibility to protect the safety of people, and given the increase in the number of cases of monkeypox worldwide, the Ministry of Health has urged relevant agencies and localities to strengthen surveillance and prevention for the early detection of cases at border gates and medical facilities, especially those returning from countries where the disease has been reported," Huong said.

 Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Lien Huong speaks at the meeting. Photo: The Hanoi Times

"Health centers and hospitals across the country need to improve medical screening to detect signs of monkeypox early and perform real-time rt-PCR testing to identify positive cases. All suspected cases should be reported to the Ministry of Health as soon as possible," the deputy minister said.

She suggested that people should avoid close contact with people with smallpox or their wounds, bodily fluids, droplets, and contaminated objects and utensils.

“Everybody should regularly wash their hands with soap and common antiseptic solutions, cover their mouth while coughing and sneezing, and immediately contact medical facilities when having symptoms of monkeypox,” Huong urged.

She added that people with symptoms of monkeypox should self-isolate and avoid sexual intercourse, and those with confirmed monkeypox should quarantine themselves until they recover from the disease.

The deputy minister stressed that authorities will keep coordinating with WHO to closely monitor the epidemic and promptly implement appropriate prevention and control measures.

According to WHO, Monkeypox is a rare disease infected with the monkeypox virus, which is an orthopoxvirus that causes a disease with symptoms similar, but less severe, to smallpox.

The disease begins with fever, headaches, muscle aches, backaches, swollen lymph nodes, chills, and exhaustion. Within one to three days after the appearance of fever, the patient develops a rash, often beginning on the face and then spreading to other parts of the body, WHO noted.

Recently, monkeypox has been found in over 75 countries outside of the countries where it usually circulates, with more than 16.000 confirmed cases and five fatalities recorded as of July 23.

The first of these confirmed cases was recorded in the UK on May 13.