HCM CITY (VNS) — With the hand-foot-mouth disease season just beginning, 60 out the country's 64 provinces and cities have already experienced outbreaks, the Department of Preventive Health has said.
Around 1,000 cases have been reported every week since the beginning of this year.
In the last two weeks 28 provinces and cities said the incidence of HFM was increasing.
Places like Da Nang and the provinces of Khanh Hoa, Yen Bai, Tuyen Quang, Soc Trang, and Quang Ngai have been the worst affected, with the number of patients increasing by 22-700 per cent.
Soc Trang Province in the Mekong Delta has seen nearly 400 cases this year, according to its Department of Health.
Vinh Long, another delta province, has also been hit hard, with its Preventive Health Centre reporting more than 660 cases, 300 more than in the same period last year.
Most of the cases have been reported from the districts of Vung Liem, Long Ho, and Tam Binh.
But in HCM City, things had gotten better, the Preventive Health Centre said.
Between February 27 and March 5 only 78 children were hospitalised, half the number as in the comparable period last year.
Nguyen Van Binh, head of the Department of Preventive Health, said the disease also continued to plague other countries in the region like Japan, Korea, Singapore, and Cambodia.
The increasing incidence in Viet Nam has him worried about the effectiveness of information dissemination, which has failed to reach families with babies aged less than five.
Next April the department plans to begin a national campaign on hand washing and environmental hygiene around schools, especially kindergartens.
The disease peaks in April-May and September-November. — VNS