Authorities in a province in Vietnam have locked down an entire neighborhood after two cases of diphtheria were reported there last week, one of whom has already died.
The village has been sealed off since Friday,
Officials in Dak Nong Province, located in the Central Highlands, have blocked a village in Dak Glong District since Friday, Ha Van Hung, deputy director of the provincial Department of Health, said on Monday.
“We have fumigated the whole locale and isolated it,” Hung said.
“We will continue vaccinating 550 people of the village in the next four days so as to suppress the cluster.”
Two of the village’s children had caught diphtheria, the Dak Nong Center for Disease Control announced, adding that one of them, 9-year-old Sung Thi Hoa, had died of the infection.
Hoa was rushed to Dak Nong General Hospital on Friday, suffering coughing, a sore throat, and shortness of breath.
Her conditions turned critical then so the girl was transferred to the Ho Chi Minh City Hospital for Tropical Diseases.
But she died on Saturday of malignant diphtheria, causing heart complications, doctors said.
The second patient is Ma Van Thanh, nine, who was in close contact with Hoa, according to the Dak Nong Center for Disease Control. He is in emergency treatment.
Health workers have disinfected all households, a school, and a medical facility in the village, the center said.
Those aged seven to under 40 in the locale will be vaccinated against the disease as a precaution, it added.
Authorities have set up two checkpoints to lock down the village.
This is the second diphtheria cluster to have been detected in Dak Nong this year, deputy director Hung said.
On June 14, health workers found four cases in Krong No and managed to quickly clear the cluster.
“Diphtheria is a serious infection caused by strains of bacteria called Corynebacterium diphtheriae,” the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on its website.
The infection can cause people to get very sick and spread from person to person through respiratory droplets or touching infected open lesions.
Symptoms can include weakness, sore throat, mild fever, and swollen glands in the neck.
This article was originally published in Tuoitre