The Vietnamese Ministry of Health is closely monitoring an ongoing severe pneumonia outbreak in central China, as well as taking measures to prevent the virus from entering Vietnam.
A seafood market in Wuhan where dozens of people are found to be infected with severe pneumonia virus. (Photo: South China Morning Post)
Dang Quang Tan, Deputy Directorof the Department of Preventive Medicine under the Ministry of Health, said:“We have contacted the World Health Organisation to keep updated about the virus.”
The ministry will step upsurveillance at border gates and among communities, he said.
According to the department, asof December 2019, there were 27 cases of viral pneumonia of unknown originreported in Wuhan, central Hubei province, China.
Seven patients were in criticalcondition. Others are stable. There have been no recorded fatalities, however.
Most of those infected arestore owners at a local seafood market. Local authorities have closed themarket for further investigation.
The Chinese health ministry hastaken measures to control the outbreak and conducted more testing to identifythe specific cause.
There has been no evidence sofar of human-to-human transmission. No medical workers have been infected withthe virus, according to the Chinese health ministry.
China's state media reportedthat the outbreak is suspected of being linked to Severe Acute RespiratorySyndrome (SARS), a highly contagious respiratory disease which infected morethan 8,000 people around the world in 2003.
Tan said SARS is a dangerousvirus which appeared for the first time at the end of 2002 and beginning of 2003.
SARS’ symptoms are quite likethose of severe flu. Vietnam is in flu season with A/H1N1 and B being the mostcommon types, he told Tuoi tre (Youth) newspaper.
He advised the public not to beworried as successful treatment for the virus is available, unlike thesituation in 2003 when medical workers did not know much about the virus, causingit to spread quickly./.VNA