Medical workers fret relapse of malaria, drug-resistance

In these days, hospitals in Ho Chi Minh City admitted many malaria patients from the southern provinces, causing worry of the disease relapse.

Medical workers fret relapse of malaria, drug-resistance

The enhanced worry spread when the World Health Organization announced of the presence of a drug-resistant lineage (strain) of malaria parasites in south Vietnam.
The Tropical Disease Hospital’s Infection Department admitted three malaria patients in two weeks including two deaths. The first patient is a 28 year old man back from Angola in Africa living in the southern province of Dong Nai. He was hospitalized in local infirmary when he was suffering from the fever and ague, yellow coloring of eyes and he fell into delirious condition.
He was immediately transferred to the Tropical Disease Hospital in HCMC with diagnosis of serious malaria and liver failure. Doctors’ efforts to save him had been unrewarded when his condition did not abate.
Similarly, 37 year old man in Dong Nai experienced the disease after working in the southern province of Binh Phuoc in two weeks. He was rushed to local hospital and then transferred to HCMC-based Tropical Disease hospital where he was diagnosed to have acute malaria with brain, liver failure and breathing problem. However, he succumbed to the disease later.
As per the HCMC hospital, since the beginning of 2017, 113 malaria patients have been taken to the the hospital including 19 malignant cases. Before, in November, four kids from the Highlands provinces of Dak Nong and Binh Phuoc province were hospitalized in the Children No.1 and No.2
Dr. Truong Huu Khanh, head of the Infection Department , said that normally, adults suffer malaria yet lately , kids also have the disease. The medical worker fretted because kids are easy to succumb to the disease more than adults.
In Vietnam, human malaria is caused by three popular different species of P.Falciparum, P.Vivax và P.Malariae. Malaria patients must be injected with drug soon or their illness will become malignant.
For instance, 55 year old woman in the Mekong delta province of Ben Tre who is being treated in the Tropical Disease Hospital. Two weeks ago, she had fever, shaking chills and cough.
When at local infirmary, she was diagnosed to have malaria yet she was given a transfusion without medicine. Later she was taken to the HCMC hospital where she was diagnosed to have malignant malaria and anemia. Malaria parasite density is counted to 400,000 per microliter of blood.
Dr. Nguyen Hoan Phu said that in addition to severe anemia, she had drug-resistant parasites.
Lately, the World Health Organization announced to detect Antimalarial drug resistance in the Greater Mekong Subregion including Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thai and Vietnam. Dr. Truong Huu Khanh said that WHO’s discovery is very important because treatment will become more complicated and it takes long time even death. 
Meantime, Dr. Nguyen Hoan Phu said that many districts have no medication for malaria because the disease had been eliminated long ago.
However, due to the relapse of malaria and patients have drug -resistance, Dr. Phu petitioned the health sector to provide injected Artesunate drug for infirmaries as well as provide training of malaria diagnosis to medical workers in district hospitals.
Doctors warned there is no vaccine against malaria; accordingly, people should sleep in mosquito-nets and spray chemical to kill mosquito. Once experiencing high fever and digestive disorder , headache, yellow skin, a person should go to nearby medical clinic for malaria testing.

By THANH SON - Translated by UYEN PHUONG

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