Herbicide tied to strange skin disease killing people in Vietnam

Posted on April 22, 2012

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Quang Ngai – A mysterious skin disease has killed 19 people and affected 171 others in the province of Quang Ngai, one of the most impoverished in the country. The resistant disease was first discovered in April 2011 before dying down and resurfacing with a vengeance.

The illness initially presents with high fever, appetite loss and a rash on the feet and hands, but left untreated can affect the respiratory system, cause eye problems, miscarriages, liver issues and multi-organ failure. And it has doctors baffled.

Although investigations are still underway, Vietnamese health authorities believe that the victims are suffering from poisoning from chemical herbicides. The onset of symptoms appeared to coincide with the use of one brand of herbicide used to spray cassava fields, an American product named Kanup 480 SL. The herbicide was imported by the Viet Thang Company and sold through their catalog in the northern province of Bac Giang.

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