Young boy with rare Whitmore disease recovers
VietNamNet Bridge - After a month of intensive treatment, the male patient has Whitmore’s disease, or Melioidosis, a rare infectious disease, has recovered. 


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In late August, a young man from Thanh Hoa province was diagnosed with a disease which can kill patients within 48 hours.

The patient was Cao Van Them, 25, from Thanh Hoa province. On August 11, 2016, Them was brought to Bach Mai Hospital in Hanoi with severe sepsis and multiple organ dysfunction.

Prior to that, Them had acute nephritis syndrome. He was hospitalized in Thanh Hoa province with fever and a swollen right knee. The fever did not come down after 11 days of treatment. He was later transferred to Bach Mai Hospital, one of the most prestigious hospitals in Vietnam.

The blood tests showed that he tested positive for Whitmore disease.

After one month of intensive treatment at Bach Mai, on September 15, Them was transferred to a provincial hospital for continued care and treatment. His condition improved.

After a month of intensive treatment, the male patient has Whitmore’s disease, or Melioidosis, a rare infectious disease, has recovered. 
According to Do Duy Cuong, head of Bach Mai Hospital’s Infectious Diseases Ward, Bach Mai has received more than 10 Whitmore cases so far this year. The patients mostly came from the north and central region.

Since the clinical pictures were complex, the patients were at first admitted to different wards, from respiration to endocrinology and dermatology before they were treated. Doctors often misdiagnosed the disease.

It is necessary to attack the disease with high-dose antibiotics for at least two weeks and then continue using antibiotics for 3-6 more months.

If patients cannot be treated with the right therapy, the disease will likely recur, which will weaken patients. The problem is that it takes a long time and much money to treat the disease, and many patients give up. This is a major reason for 40-60 percent of treatment failure.

Whitmore is a dangerous acute infectious disease caused by Burkholderia pseudomallei bacteria. The bacteria exists in soil and the major transmission is skin contact with infected soil or the inhalation of particles containing bacteria.


Thanh Mai

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