Contagious brain inflammation infects one in Vietnam

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A patient in northern Vietnam was Friday confirmed to have a contagious brain inflammation that could be fatal. At least five such cases have been reported in Ho Chi Minh City since December last year.

The 21-year-old woman, identified as T.T.T., tested positive for Neisseria, a large genus of commensal bacteria which causes a fatal form of encephalitis that leads to meningitis and blood infections, the news website Dan Tri reported. The bacterium colonize in the mucosal surfaces of many animals, quickly killing the infected body.

T., from Nam Dinh Province around 40 kilometers from Hanoi, is being quarantined at the Central Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Hanoi as the disease spreads easily through the respiratory system.

Doctor Nguyen Trung Cap from the hospital said the woman was admitted early and thus her condition is improving after antibiotics treatment.

T. was sent to the hospital on January 11, with a high fever, low blood pressure and underskin bleeding producing red lesions all over her body. She developed a sore throat and body pains a day earlier.

Her caretakers have also given antibiotics. They have been isolated within the hospital and have been wearing medical face masks and avoiding direct contact with other people.

"The danger of the disease is the symptoms, including sore throat and body pains, are similar to those caused by normal bacteria while the red spots can be mistaken for other less severe diseases that cause hives," Cap said.

He said the disease is rare and the hospital only treated two cases last year. But he warned that the disease is returning and recommended that people clean their throat and nose with a medical saline solution and increase their intake of green foods to bolster the immune system.

Ho Chi Minh City Tropical Diseases Hospital has also admitted two co-workers with the disease within the past month. Three other workers from the same company had also fell sick with similar symptoms.

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