Hanoi, April 22 (IANS) A province in Vietnam has been hit by a mysterious skin infection that has already killed 19 people and affected more than 170, BBC reported.
Vietnam will now ask for international help to find out what was causing the skin infection in the central province of Quang Ngai.
The disease begins with a rash on the hands and feet, and experts said it can lead to liver problems and multiple organ failure.
Tests conducted by the health ministry have failed to pinpoint the cause.
The government said it will ask the World Health Organization (WHO) and the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention to join its investigation.
The illness was first reported between April and December 2011 and then subsided, but broke out again last month.
Health workers say it responds well to early intervention but is difficult to treat once established.
Frightened residents of Reu village have laid branches across the path to the houses of infected people to try to isolate the outbreak.
"We have to block the entrances here to stop patients from getting out and spreading the disease," one resident told Vietnamese TV.
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