Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — The public, especially pregnant women, should take the initiative to ward off mosquito-borne diseases like dengue and Zika since current weather conditions in many provinces and cities are ideal for mosquitoes to breed, health experts said.
Last week HCM City’s Hùng Vương Hospital admitted a 25-year-old woman from the Mekong Delta province of Vĩnh Long who was 38 weeks pregnant and had had fever for nearly two days.
She had signs of sepsis caused by dengue fever and tests showed that her platelet count had fallen and lungs were inflamed, doctors said.
They gave her antibiotics but after five-day treatment her health worsened. The foetal heartbeat was too weak and they decided to perform a C-section to save mother and child, they said.
Dr Nguyễn Đăng Quang, head of the hospital’s emergency aid department, said she was given platelets and plasma to prevent haemorrhages and enable blood to clot.
Now, four days after the surgery last Friday, the woman and her newborn son have recovered.
But unlike her, a 26-year-old woman in Hà Nội suffered a miscarriage due to complications caused by dengue fever.
Four weeks pregnant, she had contracted dengue. After she showed symptoms of the disease for two days she was brought to Bạch Mai Hospital for treatment, but doctors could not save the foetus.
The hospital’s infectious diseases department reported that as of mid-August pregnant women accounted for 15-20 per cent of its dengue patients.
Dr Đỗ Duy Cường, its head, told the Việt Nam Government portal (chinhphu.vn) that if pregnant women show any symptoms of dengue such as fever and severe headache they should be admitted to hospital because what happens subsequently could not be forecast.
At hospitals, they and their unborn child would be regularly monitored and doctors could find out if they were going to miscarry or deliver prematurely, he said.
He said people including pregnant women should take preventive measures such as wearing clothes covering their arms and legs and sleep inside mosquito nets.
According to the Centre for Disease Control, they should use mosquito repellents with up to 50% DEET, picaridin, IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus during pregnancy.
According to Nguyễn Hữu Hưng, deputy head of the HCM City Department of Health, there is no vaccine yet against dengue and the best method is to prevent mosquitoes and larvae from breeding by clearing water containers and keeping the environment clean.
In HCM City alone 16,030 cases of dengue have been reported this year, an increase of 18 per cent compared to last year, according to the city Preventive Health Centre.
There have also been 21 Zika patients compared to just one last year. —VNS