In the first 8 months of 2022, at least 15 people in Hanoi were diagnosed with streptococcus suis infection, 2 of them died. Many cases came to the hospital with whole body bruising and necrosis after slaughtering pigs and eating raw pig blood soup.
The latest fatal case was a 50-year-old man in Thanh Xuan district. This patient had a fever of 40°C, fatigue, and pain in both knee joints. Although he had taken antipyretics at home, his condition continued to deteriorate, according to the Hanoi Center for Disease Control announcement on September 8.
The patient was taken to Hanoi Medical University Hospital for treatment by his family. Here, the patient was diagnosed with complicated pneumonia, septic shock, multiple organ failure, and severe metabolic acidosis. The doctors said the patient’s condition deteriorated very quickly and he died just a few hours after being hospitalized. The results of the patient’s blood culture test were positive for Streptococcus suis bacteria.
The previous fatality was a 48-year-old man in Ba Vi district, who went into septic shock due to streptococcus suis infection. This man was determined to have contracted the infection because he did not use protective equipment while slaughtering pigs.
The patient had high fever, chills, fatigue, muscle pain, body ache, and vomiting 2 days after slaughtering pigs. One day later, hemorrhagic lesions appeared on his head and body, and he was taken to Ba Vi District General Hospital, diagnosed with bacteremia due to streptococcus suis. He was transferred to Military Hospital 105 for treatment but his condition worsened and he passed away.
According to the Hanoi CDC, in the same period of 2022, the city only recorded 1 case of streptococcus suis disease. Almost all cases of streptococcus suis in 2023 are related to slaughtering, eating undercooked pig blood soup or other foods from raw pork… Some cases were due to contact with infected pigs through wounds and abrasions on the skin during slaughtering and food processing.
Other medical facilities in Hanoi such as the Central Tropical Disease Hospital, Bach Mai Hospital, 108 Military Central Hospital, etc. also recorded some cases of streptococcus suis disease transferred from other localities.
In August, the Central Tropical Disease Hospital received at least 2 cases of streptococcus suis, arriving at the hospital when their bodies were already covered in hemorrhagic lesions, with whole body skin turning black and necrotic. There was a case where symptoms appeared 1 week after slaughtering and eating pork from a sick home-raised pig; another case contracted the disease after eating raw pig intestines with his family.
Previously, 108 Military Central Hospital also treated a critically ill 45-year-old patient with streptococcus suis infection after eating pork meat and blood soup. There was also a case of sudden deafness after 2 days of eating raw pig intestines and blood soup.
Doctors said that people in some areas have the habit of eating blood soup because they believe this dish is “both cooling and nutritious”, and often eat it at the beginning of the month or year because they think “red brings good luck”. In addition, undercooked and raw foods are also popular, while blood soup or these dishes contain very high risks of contracting streptococcus suis infection. Many cases came to the hospital when their bodies were already covered in hemorrhagic lesions and whole body skin turned black. If not detected and treated in time, the risk of death with this disease group is very high.