Strep Suis Spreading In Humans, Says Health Institute

VIET NAM - At least four more Vietnamese people have caught a rare porcine disease that has infected 26 people in the country this year, reports the Vietnam Institute of Tropical and Contagious Diseases.
calendar icon 27 July 2007
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Director of the institute Dr. Nguyen Duc Hien said most of the patients were hospitalized in severe condition nine or ten days after being infected with the pig-borne Streptococcus suis bacteria, which has killed two of the 26 so far.

Most of the victims slaughter pigs or process and sell pork for a living, while several caught the disease by eating pig’s blood food, which is quite common in the Vietnamese countryside.

Also on Thursday, Deputy Head of the Health Ministry’s Health Protection Department Nguyen Van Binh said his organization was working with a team from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to study how the porcine disease is transmitted to humans.

Streptococcus suis is a bacterium found in many parts of the world where pigs are raised. It is most prevalent in domesticated pigs, but is also occasionally found in wild boars, horses, dogs, cats and birds.

The sickness usually manifests high fever, nausea and vomiting, followed by meningitis, hemorrhages, toxic shock and even comas in severe cases.

Additionally, some 30,000 pigs in Vietnam have been reportedly infected with blue ear disease (Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome), which causes high fever, respiratory prob­lems as well as constipation and diarrhea.

Source: Thanh Nien

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Further reading: Streptococcal Suis and human health

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