A vendor unloads packs of ice from his vehicle in Hanoi on June 8, 2023. (PHOTO / AFP)
HANOI — Vietnam has strengthened epidemic prevention and control measures after two northern provinces reported 14 cases of anthrax infection, Vietnam News Agency reported on Friday.
Four outbreaks of human anthrax disease were recently reported in the northern provinces of Dien Bien and Ha Giang, according to provincial centers for disease control.
The health ministry has ordered officials to promptly monitor the health situation in communities to prevent new infections
All of the victims fell sick after either butchering or eating beef from sick cattle. Infected people developed such symptoms as fever, headache, stomachache, diarrhea, breathing difficulties and swollen tissues, said provincial health authorities.
There have been no deaths in any of the cases so far.
This highly lethal infectious disease commonly affects cattle and humans only when they come into contact with anthrax-affected cattle or consume their meat. The disease does not spread from human to human, according to Vietnam's Ministry of Health.
The health ministry has ordered officials to promptly monitor the health situation in communities to prevent new infections and disinfect the areas where outbreaks were detected.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development formally requested livestock officials in Dien Bien, Ha Giang and four nearby provinces to detect and cull sick cattle, tighten control of livestock movement, and vaccinate cattle in places at high risks for anthrax.
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People are warned against slaughtering, transporting and eating the meat of dead cow, buffalo and horse, which is a common practice across much of the mountainous region of the country.