The baby girl, from An Giang Province, was admitted into the Pediatrics 1 Hospital at 9:30 pm on April 7 and died an hour later due to her critical condition. The baby contracted HFMD at level 4, doctors said.
The death was the fifth case among children in An Giang Province, which is leading the country in the death toll from HFMD, which has spread to all 63 provinces, affecting more than 21,300 children.
Of the 18 deaths, five were in An Giang, two each in HCMC, Dong Thap, Dong Nai and Can Tho, and there has been one each in Da Nang, Dak Lak, Binh Dinh, Ba Ria-Vung Tau, and Vinh Long.
Speaking at last week’s conference on measures to minimize deaths from the disease, Health Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien warned that the epidemic has been more serious than it was last year. She urged all health units to take all possible measures to prevent the spread of the disease.
The disease rate is 23.8 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, the Preventive Health Department reported at the conference.
A doctor examines a boy who develops HFMD symptoms (Photo: Tuoi Tre)
In order to restrain the epidemic’s spread, hospitals must boost training for doctors, nurses and other health workers in HFMD to improve their professional skills and thus help enhance treatment quality, the minister said.
As shown in reports from certain hospitals, there have been cases in which patients died not only due to severe illness but also due to mistaken diagnosis, tardiness in treatment and shortcomings in hospital transfer, Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Xuyen said.
In HCMC, among more than 150 children who have died from HFMD since the beginning of last year, 81 percent were under 3 years old; and of the total deaths, 40 cases had been wrongly diagnosed by doctors who mistook the HFMD for other diseases, Dr. Nguyen Minh Tien, deputy head of the intensive care unit of city-based Pediatrics Hospital 1, reported.