Over 50 people have been reportedly infected with hepatitis A in Vientiane Capital, yet the exact number of people with this virus in Vientiane province is unknown, according to the Vientiane Capital Department of Health.
Last year, over 500 people were infected with Hepatitis A in Xiengkhouang Province.
Hepatitis A is a viral liver disease that can cause mild to severe illness. The Hepatitis A virus (HAV) is transmitted through ingestion of contaminated food and water or through direct contact with an infectious person.
The recurrence of hepatitis A was reported in late March in seven villages in Viengkham and Thoulakhom districts of Vientiane Province and ten villagers in Xaythany district of Vientiane Capital.
All the infected villages share borders with Thoulakhom district.
People suffering from the disease are being treated at the Mahosot Hospital. Most of them are aged between 15-50 years old, said Dr Chanthalai Xayavong, Director of the Epidemiology Section under the Ministry of Health, on Jun 15.
After we were alerted by hospitals and sectors concerned, we sent an ad hoc committee of technical staff to collect samples from the people being treated at the district hospitals, dispensaries and clinics in areas where the disease has been reported, said Dr Chanthalai.
Hepatitis A usually occurs in countries where poor sanitary system exists. This viruscan be rapidly transmitted through eating contaminated foods and drinking contaminated water. During these weeks, traditional festivals especially rocket festivals are being celebrated and they are done so by a number of people who might not eat clean food and litter recklessly. These behaviours are favourable to the outbreak of the disease, said Dr Chanthalai.
To bring the disease outbreak under control, the Vientiane Capital Department of Health has notified health offices in nine districts across Vientiane Capital to attach greater importance to their inspection of drinking water and ice factories, as well as their workers, to make sure they meet the production standards set by the Ministry of Health. It has also urged local people to observe sanitary routines such as hand washing before eating, avoiding sharing spoons, glasses or other kitchen or eating utensils.
Source: Lao News Agency