Undiagnosed Illness – Quang Ngai, Vietnam
A mysterious skin disease has affected 215 people in Vietnam, killing 23 to date, leaving authorities baffled. Cases had initially affected those in the Quang Ngai District in April last year, but have had died out. Since April this year, however, the mysterious disease surfaced again.
The disease has since spread to 5 communes in the Ba To district (central province in Quang Ngai), including Ba Dien, Ba Ngac, Ba Xa, Ba Vinh and Ba To, of which Ba Dien is leading with the most cases.
Patients start off with a high fever, loss of appetite, and a rash (keratosis- thickened skin) on the soles of their feet and palms of their hands, causing ulcers and stiffness in the limbs. They can suffer liver problems, and eventually multiple organ failure. Local media inform that approximately 10% of infected people suffer from serious liver disorder. (Medical News Today)
According to a Health Minister at a recent conference, there has been no disease so far elsewhere that is exactly identical to the strange syndrome in Quang Ngai.
Thanh Long, Vietnam’s Deputy Health Minister, said: “This disease is challenging as we have not identified the root causes. If it is just an external skin disease why is it causing deaths and failures inside internal organs?” (Medical News Today)
Several attempts have been made to explain the disease, with no conclusion. The Vietnamese health ministry recently asked for help from the WHO together with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in handling the disease, after being criticized by the public for delaying seeking of support from international organizations.
Vietnam has yet to find the toxin causing the mysterious and fatal skin disease as of today. (Thanh Nien News)
Medical News Today, http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/244434.php