Sixteen students of a school in the Central Highlands region in Vietnam have been tested positive for influenza type A subtype H1N1, according to health authorities.
Representatives of the Ho Chi Minh City Pasteur Institute announced on Saturday that 16 fourth graders at Xuan Thanh Elementary-Middle School in Da Teh District, Lam Dong Province have been confirmed to have influenza A H1N1.
The representatives said the test results and the students’ symptoms are indicative of a flu outbreak.
After being treated for three days, the kids’ conditions are now stable. Over half of them have had their fevers brought down, and only two still suffer a high temperature, Dr. Dong Sy Quang, of Lam Dong Province’s Health Department, said on Saturday afternoon.
He added his department has instructed Da Teh District’s Health Center continue treatment of the 16 students in quarantine and adopt urgent measures to make sure the outbreak is eradicated.
Bui Van Hung, chair of the Da Teh District People’s Committee, said a team has been deployed to sterilize the school and the 16 students’ homes as well as all sites throughout the district to stall the spread of the flu.
All of the school’s students have been notified of their friends’ afflictions, and are required to put on masks and sterilize their hands in tanks erected in the school, starting Monday.
According to the Ho Chi Minh City Pasteur Institute, influenza A H1N1 viruses are transmitted via respiration and throat fluids.
On Wednesday, 16 out of 18 fourth graders in a class of Xuan Thanh Elementary-Middle School suddenly developed fevers, coughs, and sore throats.
The kids received treatment in quarantine at the district’s health center on the same afternoon as they were suspected of contracting influenza A virus subtype H5N1, a deadly avian flu strain.
Epidemic inspections launched by the provincial Health Department and Da Teh District’s Health Center indicated that the outbreak stemmed from one of the female students in the same class one week earlier.
The viruses were quickly passed on from the girl to her classmates.
Apart from the 16 students infected with influenza A H1N1, Da Teh District’s Health Center on Friday morning found two other students from the same school to also have mild fevers and coughs, Dr. Quang, from the Lam Dong Health Department, said.
These two students are treated and monitored at home as their conditions are not serious.
The influenza type A subtype H1N1 virus caused a worldwide pandemic in 2009. It is now a human seasonal flu virus that also circulates in pigs.
The virus spreads between people in the same way as seasonal flu viruses and has led to several deaths in Vietnam in recent years.