Puffer fish attack children in southern Vietnam

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An official in the Mekong Delta province of Dong Thap Wednesday said puffer fishes had attacked two local children early this month.

The children were hospitalized with serious wounds on their penises.

Vo Thi Hong, chief of Thap Muoi District's Aquaculture Agency, said a study of the injuries showed they were inflicted by puffer fish.

Seven-year-old Nguyen Huu Thien and four-year-old Nguyen Hoang Hao were attacked when bathing in the Kenh Giua River on August 9 and 5 respectively, Tuoi Tre reported earlier, adding that they were among three victims recorded in the district.

According to Hong, cases of fish attacks on people in the river have happened before.

Freshwater fish that are highly likely to attack humans are the giant snakehead (Channa micropeltes), puffer fish (Tetraodontidae), and white pomfrets, so local people should not be concerned about some "mysterious" fish, she stressed.

The district's general hospital and health clinics have said no other fish attack has been recorded since August 10

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About 50 people tried in vain to catch the fish on Monday and Tuesday.

The Thap Muoi People's Committee has said efforts to catch the fish will continue. Even if the fish are not caught, the activity can scare them away, officials said.

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