Last update 6/15/2011 11:00:00 AM (GMT+7)

New type of virus causing hand-foot-mouth disease spreads to Hanoi
VietNamNet Bridge – After raging in southern and central provinces, causing 17 deaths, hand-foot-mouth disease has spread to Hanoi, with a new type of virus which is more dangerous.

Central province reports new type of virus causing hand, foot and mouth disease

The first cases of hand-foot-mouth disease were recorded in early June in the city. Dr. Nguyen Tran Hien, head of the National Institute for Epidemic Prevention, said that 14 patients have been reported so far in six northern provinces. However the disease appeared scattered with no deaths.

Doctors have tested samples collected from several patients at the Hanoi-based Central Pediatrics Hospital and found out virus EV71. This virus was detected in HCM City in 2003, with higher toxicity.

The HCM City Pasteur Institute has performed tests for 174 hand-foot-mouth patients so far this year. Forty-three of them caught EV71 virus, five died.

The Preventive Health Agency said that there is no vaccine for this disease.

In central provinces, many parents now keep their children at home to avoid catching hand-foot-mouth disease.

This disease is caused by Enterovirus. Its dangerous complications include encephalitis, meningitis, pneumonia which can cause death.

So far this year, Vietnam has record more than 6,000 hand-foot-mouth patients in 30 provinces, with 17 deaths, mainly in southern provinces.

The current outbreak of hand-foot-mouth disease among children in southern Vietnam is being caused by the coxsackie B2 virus and not EV71. The B2 virus belongs to a group of pathogenic enteroviruses that trigger illness. It is more dangerous than the EV71 virus, and makes a patient worsen or even die rapidly.

Minh Anh