Vietnam SARS free

Vietnam has been removed from the WHO list of countries hit by the mysterious pneumonia-like virus infection, SARS and the advice to avoidtravelling to Vietnam has been lifted.
     Vietnam registered 68 SARS cases since the disease was discovered in late February. Five of these have died and 58 others have recovered fully and checked out of hospital.
     WHO has congratulated Vietnam with being the first country in the world to contain SARS.
     “To control SARS, it is essential to identify the cases very fast, and isolate them properly so they cannot pass the disease onto others, and Vietnam did this very well”, the WHO Representative, Ms Pascale Brudon said.
     WHO officials in Viet Nam cautioned against a lapse in the present high state of alert, as the risk persists that a single imported case could seed an outbreak, as happened in February. However, the government showed strong commitment at the highest level from the beginning of the outbreak. Task forces and provincial teams were established and have worked well. Good procedures of infection control were rapidly established and eventually proved effective in preventing further spread among hospital staff.
     Should the country experience an imported case, this newly established infrastructure would most likely be effective in preventing another large outbreak.

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