Authorities in Ba To District in the central province of Quang Ngai have provided free rice to people afflicted by the mysterious skin disease, said a senior official.
Le Han Phong, Chairman of the People’s Committee of Ba To District, said the district has provided 60 tonnes of rice to people suffering from the disease in some communes.
In addition, the district gave VND4.5 million (US$217) to each family of the dead and VND2.5 million to each family with a sick patient.
Vietnamese health officers are now suspecting rice mould as a possible cause of the mysterious and fatal skin condition in the central region, after patients in Ba To District said they had eaten rice covered with fungus.
Experts from the ministry said last week that ‘Ricketsia, a virus transmitted by fleas, to be a cause, but blood samples of patients proved this was not the cause.
The skin disease begins with a high fever, loss of appetite and inflamed sort of rash on the hands and feet, and then progresses to affecting and damaging the liver and subsequently other body organs.
Quang Ngai Province had so far reported 180 cases of the skin disease, eight of whom died at medical clinics and 11 at home.
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