Central Vietnam skin condition kills woman, raises toll to 23

TN News

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A mysterious skin condition plaguing Ba To District in the central province of Quang Ngai claimed another life Wednesday morning, two days after a young boy from the district died of the condition in Ho Chi Minh City.

Pham Thi Trieu, 33, died at Quang Ngai General Hospital despite three blood transfusions, raising the death toll to 23 since the first case was reported in April last year.

On Sunday night, 9-year-old Pham Van Thach died after eight days at HCMC Children's Hospital No.1.

Le Huy, chief of staff at the Quang Ngai Health Department, said three more Ba To children with the condition have been sent to HCMC Children's Hospital No.2, ages 5, 6, and 14.

The condition begins with blisters on the hands and feet and loss of appetite, and then becomes fatal due to organ failures, starting with the liver.

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Most patients have had enzyme levels 4-20 times the norm.

At least 214 people from the district have the condition.

The Heath Ministry has sent officials to study Ba To several times, but no conclusions have been released.

The World Health Organization said it has not received an official request for help from the ministry.

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