Vietnam seeks foreign help in identifying bizarre skin condition

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Vietnamese health authorities are seeking help from international experts in identifying an unusual skin condition -- suspected to be caused by agrochemicals -- that has plagued the central province of Quang Ngai since last year, Tuoi Tre reported Thursday.

Nguyen Trong Khoa, deputy chief of the Ministry of Health's Medical Services Administration, told the newspaper that his agency too planned to study the condition that had affected more than 150 people and killed two children as of last December.

Patients have ulcers on their hands and feet that look like they were caused by severe burns, stiffness in the limbs, and, in serious cases, liver damage.

Local health officials have linked the condition with plant protection chemicals.

Tuoi Tre said Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Xuyen recently approved a regimen for diagnosing and treating the condition.

It says mild symptoms can be treated with ointments, anti-inflammation drugs, and vitamins together with a dietary regime and liver supplements.


Unidentified disease spreads in central Vietnam

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Those with severe symptoms have to be admitted to hospital for treatment.

The regimen also advises people to wash their hands and feet after coming back from fields and avoid coming in contact with plant protection chemicals.

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