16 people catch bird flu at Vietnam’s hospital

Vietnam’s Health Ministry has recommended the public some measures to prevent A/H1N1 influenza after 16 people caught the virus from a patient at Ho Chi Minh City’s Tu Du Hospital.Doctors on Friday found a local woman running a high fever accompanied by bodily pain while she was visiting Tu Du Hospital, a major maternity institution in Vietnam, for a surgery in the gynecological department, Vietnam News Agency reported Sunday.

Later on the same day there were 23 cases of patients, their relatives and medical workers at the hospital simultaneously having high temperatures, a running nose and sore throat.Sixteen of them tested positive for A/H1N1 influenza, an acute respiratory disease.Over 80 patients suspected of having been exposed tothe woman have been isolated for observation.According to the World Health Organization, the disease can be transmitted by droplets emanating from unprotected coughs and sneezes, hand contamination, and interpersonal encounters in crowded closed spaces.

In a tropical country like Vietnam, the influenza circulates the entire year round, usually reaching several peaks in the rainy season. The A/H1N1 virus causes pernicious respiratory infection.
Therefore, the health ministry advised the public to intensify personal hygiene, wash hands with soap, hide mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, and clean rooms.

Vietnam experienced an H1N1 pandemic in 2009, with over 9,000 cases of people contracting the disease and nearly 20 deaths within four months of the year, according to the ministry.

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