HANOI, Sept. 19 (Xinhua) -- Three people in Vietnam's northern provinces have died from diphtheria, as the country has reported dozens of suspected diphtheria cases as of Tuesday, according to its health ministry.
The ministry's Department of Medical Services Administration has urged local healthcare authorities and medical centers nationwide to take action to prevent bigger outbreaks.
The authorities have been asked to strengthen public health monitoring to early diagnose, quarantine diphtheria cases and give timely treatment to minimize deaths.
According to the health department of Ha Giang province where two deaths were reported, local hospitals are offering treatment to 46 suspected cases of diphtheria.
A total of 37 other patients have recovered and are having their health monitored in 14 days at home.
Nearly 11,000 local people in Meo Vac and Yen Minh districts of Ha Giang province have taken prophylactic antibiotics, local media reported.
Since May this year, Dien Bien province reported six cases including one death.
The origin of all infection cases is unknown, the health ministry said.
Healthcare facilities have been requested to review drug and medical equipment stock to get ready for patient admission.
Antibiotics and early testing are recommended for suspected cases.
The health ministry has advised people to take children for scheduled vaccination, wash their hands with soap and keep hygiene of body, nose and throat. ■