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Dengue outbreak fears rise in several regions

Update: July, 20/2015 - 09:37
Dengue fever hospitalisations are on the rise in southern regions and cities across the country, the Ministry of Heath's General Department of Preventative Medicine reported last week. — Photo baotintuc.vn

HA NOI (VNS) — Dengue fever hospitalisations are on the rise in southern regions and cities across the country, the Ministry of Heath's General Department of Preventative Medicine reported last week.

Since the beginning of this year, there have been more than 12,000 cases of dengue fever in Viet Nam. Southern provinces, whose rainy summers promote virus-bearing mosquito populations, have been the most affected.

To handle the situation, the Ministry of Health sent a group of medical experts to virus-prone provinces in the South – Bien Hoa, Dong Nai, and Binh Duong – to check on dengue fever prevention campaigns. The experts will assist in encouraging and educating local inhabitants about how to prevent dengue fever.

Experts found that local inhabitants actually already understood how to prevent the disease but the execution of preventative measures was lagging.

Poor sanitation and practices like storing water in tanks, especially true in rural areas, created favourable conditions for dengue fever.

The HCM City Health Department reported 519 cases of dengue fever hospitalisations in June, a significant increase of 20 per cent in just a month.

The city tallied 5,000 dengue fever patients so far this year, 39 per cent higher than the same period last year. According to the city's Preventative Medicine Centre, the effects are widespread; patients have been coming from all over, Thu Duc, 3, 12, Go Vap, Binh Tan and Binh Thanh districts.

As the city enters the rainy season, it faces the risk of a dengue fever outbreak.

In Ha Noi, the city's Health Department said that around 300 cases of dengue fever were reported already this year, marking an increase of 60 per cent compared to the same period last year. Ha Dong, Hai Ba Trung and Thanh Tri were the hardest hit districts.

In order to reduce a further rise in dengue fever, the Ha Noi Health Department asked local people to take cautionary measures including cleaning water containers and putting lids on them, renewing the water in flower vases and tanks and keeping homes extra clean.

According to Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long fever prevention and control efforts face numerous challenges. Climate change and rapid urbanisation tend to create favourable conditions for virus-bearing mosquitoes to develop. Tellingly, Viet Nam is one of the most disease-affected countries in ASEAN.

Preventive measures were key to fighting virus-bearing mosquitoes, Long noted, adding that eradicating favourable breeding environments is the root of the effort.

On June 14th, 3,000 people attended a meeting in HCM City in response to ASEAN's Dengue Day to discuss how to launch a society-wide campaign in the country. — VNS

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