Pasteur Institute to produce biochemical for H1N1 testing
The HCM City-based Pasteur Institute last week said that it would soon produce a biochemical for influenza A (H1N1) testing to replace the imported chemical and reduce cost.
Tran Ngoc Huu, head of the institute, told the Daily that due to the expensive imported biochemical, an HINI virus test cost $100, which amounts to a high expense as the institute conducts 300 tests a day.
"We've submitted the project to the Ministry of Science and Technology and if it is approved, the institute will soon produce the biochemical' Huu said.
According to Huu, A(H1N1), also dubbed swine flu will continue to spread, particularly in December when the weather becomes colder, and demand for testing will jump. But the Pasteur Institute is already overloaded due to testing.
"Due to overloading, we ask the health ministry to stop HINI testing to avoid money and human resource waste. And influenza A (H1N1) treatment should only be based on clinical symptoms;' Huu said.
As testing is proving a big problem for the Pasteur Institute, the country over the past three days suffered more human losses due to swine flu, with three more people killed, taking the total number of HINI victims to nine.
A 46-year-old woman in Dak Lak Province died of the disease yesterday, as confirmed by the Central Highlands Epidemiology Institute.
On Saturday, a 42-year-old patient in southern Binh Phuoc was also killed by the disease, while on the previous day, a 40-year-old man had also succumbed to the disease.
These patients were rushed to hospitals two to four days before their deaths, according to the Vietnam News Agency.
For the victim in Da Nang, health officials have yet determined the source of his infection. However, the man was found to have eaten a dish of his own domestic poultry before falling ill, said the city's Preventive Health Centre.
Meanwhile, the health ministry reported that the number of positive HINI cases were increasing day by day. Last Saturday alone saw nearly 300 new positive cases.
Nguyen Huy Nga, head of the National Preventive Health and Environment Department, warned that infected and fatal cases would increase, particularly in remote areas where the quality of heath care service was poor.
Nga advised local residents to visit the hospital immediately if they have a fever, a cough or exhaustion.
Vietnam has reported over 6,500 positive cases with around 4,500 of them having been released from hospitals.
The Saigon Times Daily - September 23, 2009