How does Vietnam deal with monkeypox?

Faced with the risk of monkeypox entering, Vietnam has increased case surveillance at border gates, prepared drugs, test biological products, and preventive vaccines.

On the afternoon of July 24, the Ministry of Health held an urgent meeting with the Institutes of Hygiene and Epidemiology, Pasteur, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) in Vietnam to respond to the pandemic. monkeypox, a day after the disease was declared a global health emergency.

Dr. Nguyen Luong Tam, Deputy Director of the Department of Preventive Medicine, said that Vietnam has not recorded monkeypox cases but there is a high risk of invasive disease. The reason is that neighboring countries such as Thailand, China, Singapore, Cambodia… have recorded cases of monkey smallpox. Meanwhile, our country has abandoned the medical declaration for people on entry since April; Passengers from these countries entering Vietnam are more convenient than before.

A meeting to prepare for monkeypox response in the afternoon of 24/7 at the Ministry of Health. Image: Chile

Faced with the risk that monkeypox could enter and spread, the Department of Preventive Medicine said that the main activity in the coming time would be to monitor people coming from epidemic countries, and to step up disease surveillance at border gates. at health facilities, and based on events in the community for early detection and prevention of virus outbreaks.

Regarding diagnostic tests, Professor Dang Duc Anh, Director of the Central Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, said that he is coordinating with other institutes; request WHO, CDC to support biological products as well as testing procedures. Currently, Vietnam does not have these biological products.

“The complete kit is currently very few, assuming if it is supplied in Vietnam, we must obtain a license from the Ministry of Health to use it. Regarding testing capacity, we have to wait to receive the WHO primer kit. provided,” said Mr. Duc Anh.

While waiting for standard biological products, Associate Professor Nguyen Vu Trung, Director of the Pasteur Institute in Ho Chi Minh City, proposed to temporarily use a number of biological chemicals used in laboratories for diagnostic testing and case screening in case of emergency.

Regarding vaccines, Professor Duc Anh said that the world currently has only two vaccines licensed by the US for use, both of which are live virus vaccines. The vaccine has a two-dose schedule, given 4 weeks apart, for people over 18 years of age. However, WHO recommends against mass vaccination of this vaccine, only for high-risk groups such as homosexuals, bisexual men …

Dr. Sorroco Escalante, acting WHO Representative in Vietnam, recommends the use of smallpox vaccine for prevention. However, Vietnam does not stockpile this vaccine, so experts ask WHO for support.

Electron micrograph of a monkeypox strain.  Photo: Smith Collection

Electron micrograph of a monkeypox strain. Image: Smith Collection

Master Nguyen Trong Khoa, Deputy Director of the Department of Medical Examination and Treatment, said that the agency has drafted guidelines for diagnosis and treatment, which will meet to approve next week. According to research of this agency, most cases of monkeypox have mild symptoms, some are more severe such as sepsis, lung and brain complications.

“We divided the commune and district levels to treat mild cases, the provincial level and the last level to treat complicated cases,” said Mr. Khoa.

Regarding the mode of transmission of the disease, Deputy Health Minister Nguyen Thi Lien Huong said that monkeypox is difficult to spread, only transmitted through direct contact, large droplets; not spread through the air like nCoV.

In order to actively respond to the epidemic, the Deputy Minister suggested that localities need to strengthen surveillance and disease detection at all border gates. The Deputy Minister agreed to use biological products in the laboratory to diagnose diseases in an emergency, assigning the Department of Preventive Medicine to act as the focal point for research.

Ms. Lien Huong also suggested quickly completing the diagnostic test for monkeypox because there is no guide, it is impossible to diagnose the case, and complete it within the next week at the latest. Assign research units to classify monkeypox as a group A or B infectious disease; consider emergency authorization of antiviral drugs if available.

Monkey smallpox currently infects more than 70 countries, the world recorded more than 16,000 cases, 5 deaths. The disease has symptoms of fever, headache, swollen back lymph nodes, muscle pain, weakness, skin rash.



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