Dermatologists suggested that strange skin ulcers affecting many people in central Vietnam is caused by plant protection chemicals.
The conclusion was made by experts at the Vietnam Central Dermatology Hospital after a study conducted in early October on the 61 victims from the mountainous district Ba To, Quang Ngai Province, news website VnExpress reported.
All of the victims have ulcers that look like the aftermath of severe burns on their hands and feet.
An 8-year-old girl who suffered from the condition died on May 10. Doctors said she was injected with toxics through the burns that caused multiple organ failure.
Dr. Tran Hau Khang, head of Vietnam Dermatology Institute, said the dermatitis was possibly due to exposure to plant protection chemicals.
Khang said a report has been sent to the Health Ministry for further study to identify the exact cause of the condition.
According to the report, the levels of copper, lead and zinc in the victims' blood have been normal.
Most of the victims range between 16 and 49 years old. The youngest is 4, and the oldest is 72 years old.