Germs - Illness in Vietnam

Just want to vent my frustration as I can't do it on facebook or with my wife because I've done it in the past and it seems saying bad things on her family side is a no no.

My 15 month old baby is sick with what I believe is the cold. She's been vomiting, coughing and can't sleep last 5 days.

What pisses me off is the child that brought this cold onto my daughter  is her cousin. I later found out he visited the hospital that day and came over to my house afterwards. He rolled around playfully with my daughter and she caught his cold. I don't blame  her cousin but the parents and Vietnamese society in general.

If you're sick stay home don't go spreading it to others. Few years back my wife's 3 aunts had measles and they openly went everywhere infecting everyone including myself.

This cousin that infected my daughter 2 days ago he went to school right after his hospital follow-up check-up. And after school his parents brought him over to my house and he's wheezing and coughing.

Speaking of hospital I could not believe how deplorable the condition was at Nhi Dong 2 hospital. A supposedly popular hospital for children. `I was sardined into an elevator full of sick kids along with my pregnant wife. Everywhere I turned in the hospital I would bump into a sick kid or some kid vomiting on the floor. The doctor scolded my wife because she answered my daughter felt hot. She wanted my wife to answer if she has a fever or not. No temperature was checked. If you are not sick you will be siick at this hospital. If you have a cold you will make at least 3 visit to this hospital though they'll diagnos some other illness differently each time. The cousin the infected my daughter had to go for an x-ray on his follow-up. No clue why for a cold lol.

Next time I'm going to Family Medical Practice...

end rant lol

Mate, get health insurance and go to a private hospital or a good hospital like Benh Vien Dai Hoc Y Duc in D5. The bedside many of many doctors in Viet Nam is deplorable, I had one doctor in a government owned hospital tell me to F off because I happened to question him over his procedures.

Your rant is a correct one.

As is Family Medical Practice.

Best I have seen anywhere...
..and I have a (very) long medical background...      :top:

How old are your wife's aunts?   Measles is relatively mild virus for children but very dangerous for adults.  You are lucky as measles can cause blindness in adults.  Someone in your position should be sure that you and your family have the vaccines that are available today.  There is a common three way called MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) which you should certainly have your daughter get as soon as she is old enough.  I know these are available in Vietnam because they are required for emigration to most western countries.  When I was young, these vaccines did not exist and parents like mine used to send their children to the homes of those who had them to get them and be done with it.  There are vaccines for whooping cough and chicken pox (varicella) now too.   Chicken pox is common enough to have a specialty hospital in HCMC just for that, yet the disease is very preventable.  Polio has been eradicated from Vietnam but still exists in Pakistan so one could take a wait and see on that one.  If you go to a western type clinic they should identify what you need.  One other thing you could do is see what your vaccines are advised by your country for travel in Vietnam.  It is rather odd that use of these vaccines is not more widespread as they are well within the means of most city residents, who will spend way more for toys than these vaccines cost.  For the nation, the losses from viral diseases can far outweigh the costs of vaccination.  The "Socialist" Republic really needs to expend the resources.  I know Vietnam has worked on Polio and of course Malaria but they could tackle a few more.

As far as bacterial diseases, my personal philosophy is to build natural immunity through reasonable exposure.  When my daughter finished the 6th grade, I was surprised that she was recognized as the only child who had finished all 6 years with perfect attendance.  In hindsight I attributed her wellness to the fact that we had a swine farm at that time and her exposure made her healthy.  My Canadian mother used to say "You eat a peck of dirt in your lifetime."  You don't want to teach your daughter to swim in Song Sai Gon, but don't worry too much.

Your observation about the doctor asking your wife about a fever is typical and shows up what I think is the weak link in Vietnamese medicine which is first line diagnosis.  In three years, I never had a doctor take my temperature or blood pressure but they did ask me how it was.   :/   I also had a doctor misdiagnose shingles (benh zona) as a bacterial infection and give me the overly used antibiotics which were of no use.  Luckily, a second doctor did recognize it for what it was.  Another weak link is record keeping.  Doctors expect patients to keep the records which of course fails to happen.

I taught a home class of doctors for a while, which gave me some insight.  The curriculum that I found. developed by a physician teaching doctors in the Czech Republic,  was heavy on role playing of patient interviews which is the main point of interaction for doctors dealing with foreign patients.  I immediately noticed that my doctor students would try to shortcut the interview with a quick diagnosis.  This may be a habit they develop in the overcrowded clinics but it can lead to incorrect diagnosis.  They never ask about family history which can be critical.  Maybe this is based on a cultural reluctance to ask.  Either way, both as a teacher and as a patient, I found Vietnamese doctors too quick to arrive at a diagnosis.


Measles is relatively mild virus for children but very dangerous for adults.  .

Not as true as it seems, as my cousin would confirm if he hadn't dies of measles.
Serious complications are rare, but do happen.

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