Central Highlands put on high alert as diphtheria cases hit 65

Vietnam’s Central Highlands reported 17 cases of diphtheria Tuesday, raising the total to 65 in a month, prompting health authorities to take stronger action against the deadly disease.

With the new cases, Dak Nong now has 25 cases, Kon Tum 23, Gia Lai 16 while Dak Lak has reported its first case.

Four control checkpoints have been erected in Bong Hiot Village of Dak Doa District, Gia Lai, to prevent the 1,400 villagers, all of the Ba Na ethnic group, entry or exit. A four-year-old boy from the village succumbed to diphtheria on Sunday after two days of treatment.

The villagers, often toiling in their fields by day, now remain home awaiting medicine and further instructions on preventing diphtheria.

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Tran Hoa