Mysterious skin disease kills girl in Vietnam: report

Thanh Nien News

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People have checks-up in the central province of Quang Ngai after a 14-year-old girl died from a mysterious skin disease / PHOTO: VNA
A 14-year-old girl in the central province of Quang Ngai died on Thursday after being afflicted with a mysterious skin disease that has sickened hundreds and killed 26 people in the province since 2011.
Pham Thi Huy was one of the two infection cases and the first death of the syndrome of dermatitis and horny layer thickening in foot and hand to be recorded in Quang Ngai’s Ba To District this year, Vietnam News Agency reported.
She was admitted to Ba To Health Center on April 8 with symptoms like thickened horny layers in her feet and hands and increased liver enzyme level.
Her condition got worse and she was transferred to Children Hospital 2 in Ho Chi Minh City on April 14 and succumbed four days later to the failure of respiration and multiple organs.
Local health agencies have arrived in Ba Nam Commune, where the girl lived, to conduct checks-up on people and have found 13 with increased liver enzyme levels so far, according to the news report.
Since it was first discovered in April 2011, the disease, which was believed to be first reported in the world, has sickened 231 people in Ba To and Son Ha districts.
It begins with blisters on the hands and feet and the loss of appetite, and can turn fatal due to organ failure, starting with the liver.
The condition is thought to be caused by chronic poisoning, but the toxin responsible for it has yet to be identified, although a few factors have been suspected like heavy metals in the soil and moldy rice.
An effective method of treatment has not been established, either.

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