Two adult girls are being treated in Hanoi for severe Japanese encephalitis, doctors from the Central Tropical Diseases Hospital announced on July 4.
The physicians anticipate that the two girls, 20 and 17, will suffer neurological damage even if they recover.
The two cases are considered unusual since Japanese Encephalitis mainly affects children under 15.
Yen, 20, was admitted to the Central Tropical Diseases Hospital on June 28 from the Dong Anh District General Hospital.
When she was admitted Yen was slipping in and out of consciousness and was unable to move her limbs.
The first symptoms of her disease appeared three days earlier as high fever accompanied by violent shivering, her relatives said.
She is now fully unconscious and relies on a respirator.
On June 17, a 17-year old Hanoi girl was hospitalized with the same symptoms.
VnExpress quoted Doctor Nguyen Trung Cap, deputy chief of the hospital’s emergency department as saying that the two patients' MRI scans showed damage to their brains and spinal cords.
Paralysis of the limbs may be an after-effect of the virus, Cap added.
The hospital also admitted another 19-year old girl with severe encephalitis. The girl is awaiting test results which will determine if she is suffering from the Japanese strain.
According to Cap, Japanese encephalitis is seldom caught by adults. Moreover, he called it "ominous" that these two severe cases came at the beginning of the disease’s peak season.
Early last month, doctors in Hanoi began warning parents against neglecting the Japanese Encephalitis vaccine after finding that cases had surged more than three-fold in the first half of the year.
By June 26, the Central Children's Hospital received 130 patients suffering from cerebral inflammation, roughly the same as last year, though Japanese encephalitis had jumped from 8 percent to nearly 30 percent (or 36 cases) including 11 from Hanoi.