Experts from the Ministry of Health say that Rickettsia virus that was found in blood of patients in Quang Ngai is only one agent that caused the bizarre skin disease.
On April 24, Director of Quang Ngai Province Department of Health, Mr. Pham Hong Phuong, said that 14 out of 26 blood samples of patients in Ba To district were positive with Rickettsia virus and this virus was identified as cause of the skin disease in Ba To.
However, Dr. Nguyen Van Binh, head of the Ministry of Health’s Preventive Health Agency, told Quang Ngai’s officials on the evening of April 26, that this virus is not the cause but one of the agents that cause the disease.
The Health Ministry will continue its research of the disease. On April 26, the ministry’s mission was divided into four groups to make field-trips in Ba Dien commune, Ba To district.
On April 28, Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Kim Tien will visit Ba To and met with Quang Ngai’s officials to discuss measures to stop this disease.
By April 25, Quang Ngai Province had reported 176 cases of the skin disease infection, eight of whom had died at medical clinics and 11 having died at home. The disease begins with a rash on the hands and feet, and progresses to affect and damage the liver and subsequently damages other body organs.
According to doctor Nguyen Xuan Men, deputy director of the Quang Ngai Department of Health, 73 percent of the patients are farmers and 20 percent are students.
The Central Dermatology Hospital is seeking a new treatment method.
Scientists supposed that this disease is caused by water, food, chemicals, insects or environmental impacts. However, the most common idea is that this is not an infectious disease but it is caused by arsenic.
As the disease develops unpredictably, the province leaders have decided to equip the General Hospital with a blood filtering machine for reducing fatalities. In addition, the province will support 5 percent of the health insurance expenses of patients affected with this mysterious skin disease and being treated at the Quy Hoa National Leprosy Dermatology Hospital.
Meanwhile, another strange disease occurred in Son Ha District of Quang Ngai Province. Many people are beginning to suffer bruises on feet, hands and face without any clear cause. The disease has hospitalized 19 students so far.
Medical workers in district centers examined and gave drugs to the students, but the cause of the disease is yet unknown. As of now, it is suspected to be a skin disease caused by contact with chemical herbicides.
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