Vietnam records its initial monkeypox fatality.

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    Oct 26, 2023

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First recorded death of monkeypox in Vietnam: 29-year-old immunocompromised man dies 18 days after diagnosis.


According to Vice Director Nguyen Van Vinh Chau of the HCMC Department of Health, the individual resided in Long An Province, which shares a border with HCMC. After experiencing fevers and blisters for a duration of nine days, the patient was admitted to the HCMC Hospital for Tropical Diseases. Subsequently, the patient was diagnosed with monkeypox after undergoing testing.

The individual experienced a significantly weakened immune system as a result of being diagnosed with HIV. While undergoing medical interventions, they contracted Candida, developed pneumonia, and unfortunately, these conditions worsened to the point of septic shock and failure in multiple organs.

Despite receiving treatment with ventilators, blood filtration, antibiotics, and other medications, the patient unfortunately succumbed to his severe infections after a period of 18 days.

The individual represents the initial documented fatality from monkeypox in both HCMC and Vietnam.

At present, the HCMC Hospital for Tropical Diseases is attending to a total of 20 individuals affected by monkeypox, out of which 18 patients are also diagnosed with HIV. Medical professionals have highlighted that monkeypox can be transmitted to humans through methods resembling HIV transmission, such as direct contact with infected blisters and sexual intercourse.

People who contract monkeypox typically experience recovery, although the disease can sometimes advance and pose life-threatening risks for individuals with weakened immune systems, such as those living with HIV/AIDS, cirrhosis, or diabetes. Severe complications may arise, including extensive skin damage in crucial areas like the mouth, eyes, and genitalia, which can result in additional infections.

In May 2022, a series of monkeypox outbreaks emerged in countries previously unaffected by the virus, including the U.S., the U.K., Sweden, and Belgium. These incidents have resulted in over 90,000 confirmed cases of infection thus far. Unfortunately, the mortality rate can reach levels as high as 11%. Recognizing the escalating spread of the disease worldwide, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a global health emergency on July 23, 2022, in response to the monkeypox outbreak.

In October 2022, Vietnam reported its initial two instances of monkeypox. However, it is important to note that these individuals contracted the virus while abroad in Dubai and were promptly placed under quarantine upon their arrival back in Vietnam.

At present, there is no available vaccine or cure for monkeypox within the country.

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