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Vietnam on alert after human cases of pig-related disease discovered

HANOI, March 14 (Xinhua) -- Vietnam's health ministry has urged medical facilities to be vigilant for suspected cases of streptococcus suis, a bacteria that comes from pigs, after a number of human cases were found over the past few months, local media reported on Tuesday.

Since the begining of the year, a number of streptococcus infections have been recorded across the nation and the majority of cases have involved people eating pork products such as blood pudding, or those who slaughter pigs, the Vietnam News reported, citing the health ministry.

Patients often suffer severe clinical symptoms ad need long-term, expensive treatment. Once people become infected with the virus, the disease develops quickly, leading to complications such as septic shock, coma and multiple organ failure.

The ministry's Department of Preventive Medicine has called on local health authorities to strengthen supervision to early detect suspected cases of infections and have measures to handle the outbreak.

People were urged to cook pork properly in order to eliminate the potential risk of infection, as no vaccination against the disease is available at the moment.