Boy dies of mysterious skin condition in central Vietnam

TN News

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A 9-year-old boy infected with a mysterious skin condition plaguing Quang Ngai Province's Ba To District died at a Ho Chi Minh City hospital Sunday night, raising the death toll to 22.

Pham Van Thach died after eight days of intensive treatment at HCMC Children's Hospital No.1.

The hospital's director Tang Chi Thuong said Thach died of severe liver damage, Nguoi Lao Dong reported.

He was hospitalized on May 19, but doctors were not optimistic as the boy was admitted with damage to his liver and kidneys, as well as a blood infection.

Thach fell sick more than two months ago and was first treated at a dermatological hospital south of Quang Ngai in central Vietnam's Binh Dinh Province.

He was transferred to Binh Dinh General Hospital on May 6 and then to HCMC.

The boy was the third casualty from the unknown ailment this month. Others were Pham Van Nhoc, 55, and Pham Thi Ngot, 60, who died May 7.

Three members in Thach's family are also suffering from the condition.

Quang Ngai health officials said there are 47 patients being treated at the province hospitals, including eight children, three of whom are in critical condition.

Some patients left hospitals before their course of treatment finished.

A total of 241 people from Ba To District have become infected with the disease, including five new cases over the past week. The first case was reported in April of last year.

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Health experts say the condition begins with blisters on hands and feet.

After a year of dispatching multiple teams of researchers and epidemiologists to the afflicted district, health officials remain baffled what is causing the mysterious illness.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization maintains that it has not been asked to help assess the situation.

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