City tackles dengue fever outbreaks

July 20, 2022 - 07:36
HCM City authorities are calling on the health sector and each individual to take all the precautions needed to tackle the dengue fever virus amid a spike in new infections in the largest city.


A child with dengue fever receives intensive treatment at a hospital in HCM City. VNA/VNS Photo

HCM CITY — HCM City authorities are calling on the health sector and each individual to take all the precautions needed to tackle the dengue fever virus amid a spike in new infections in the second largest city.

Speaking on Tuesday, Nguyễn Văn Nên, secretary of the city Party Committee, said there could be more dengue outbreaks in the city unless urgent measures are taken.

The city was struggling to fight against both COVID and dengue diseases at the same time, which could raise the risk of overloading the healthcare system, he said.

The city had constantly recorded a surge in dengue cases with a high rate of severity due to a delay in hospital admissions and improper or late treatment at home, he noted.

The city should be ready to activate a treatment system capable of responding to 2,000 to 6,000 cases of dengue, Nên said.

“It is especially important to reduce the number of severe cases and deaths,” Nên said.

Vương Ánh Dương, deputy head of the Ministry of Health’s department of medical examination and treatment, said HCM City has seen a 50 per cent increase in cases from the same period last year.

The districts of Bình Tân, Tân Phú, Bình Chánh, Hóc Môn and Củ Chi along with District 12 had the highest rates of infection in the city, he said.

The wide spread of the disease had been caused by a shortage of chemical insecticide, and a lack of funding and personnel for dengue prevention and control, he added.


Nên said it was necessary to kill mosquitoes and mosquito larvae and ensure environmental sanitation in residential areas.

The city health sector is required to provide training for medical systems at all levels, including community health facilities, medical stations and hospitals, to raise awareness of dengue disease prevention and treatment.

“Each individual should take simple measures to eliminate mosquitoes like cleaning water containers, changing water in bottles, vases and tanks, and keeping the house tidy.

“It is also important to spray insecticides and clean up to get rid of mosquitoes,” Nên said.

The city has run an app called “Online Health” for residents to report to the department any areas in the community at risk of dengue fever.

According to the HCM City Centre for Disease Control, since the beginning of 2022, the city has recorded more than 26,140 cases of dengue fever, a surge of 228 per cent over the same period last year.

Severe cases accounted for about 10-15 per cent of the total. Severe cases were mostly of children between five and 14 years old.

According to Dr Trương Hữu Khanh, head of the Infectious Diseases Department at the HCM City-based Nhi Đồng I Hospital, a dengue epidemic normally occurs every four to five years, and 2022 was expected to be an outbreak year.

Parents need to recognise typical dengue symptoms, such as high fever, petechiae, bleeding gums, nosebleeds, bruises and vaginal bleeding. 

Initial symptoms of dengue fever are quite similar to some viral infections and the onset of the disease can sometimes be the same as that of COVID-19. 

The disease tends to worsen on the fourth to the sixth day of illness with cardiovascular collapse, respiratory diseases and diarrhoea.

It is essential to educate residents about how to detect and identify symptoms of dengue fever and promptly go to the hospital, minimising the risk of death from the disease. — VNS