|Spraying anti-mosquito chemicals in Hoàng Mai District, one of Hà Nội's current hot spots of dengue fever. — VNA/VNS Photo Minh Quyết|
HÀ NỘI — Hà Nội has become a hot spot for dengue fever with 442 cases reported between July 14 and 21, an increase of 1.5 times compared to the previous week.
The capital city had 19 new hot spots last week, mostly in Thạch Thất District (109 cases), Hoàng Mai District (35 cases), Bắc Từ Liêm District (29 cases).
Since early this year, there have been 1,556 dengue fever cases in the city, a four-time surge compared to the same period last year. No fatalities have been reported.
A total of 40 dengue fever hot spots are active in Hà Nội including big spots like Phùng Xá Commune, Hữu Bằng Commune in Thạch Thất District; Văn Tự Commune in Thường Tín District.
All districts and towns of the city have recorded dengue fever cases.
N.T.M., from Bắc Từ Liêm District, was diagnosed with dengue fever during her sixth week of pregnancy.
At first, she thought she was infected with influenza or another common illness so she didn't go for a check-up.
She was taken to Hospital E in the capital after seeing serious symptoms like non-stop high fever, nausea and abnormal vaginal bleeding.
Treated at the Tropical Disease Department, patient N.K.T., 41 years old from Bắc Từ Liêm District, said he is the second member in his family to be infected with dengue fever.
His grandfather was diagnosed with dengue fever earlier alongside underlying diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure.
This is not the first time he has been infected with dengue fever, but the symptoms this time were more severe with a high fever, headache, dizziness and bleeding gums.
He said Minh Khai Ward where he lives is a hot spot for dengue fever every year.
Although people are more aware of preventing the disease such as using bed nets, killing larvae and spraying chemicals to clear up insects, almost every season when dengue fever breaks out, there are at least two to three people in every family in the area infected, he said.
Dr Đào Văn Cao, head of Hospital E’s Tropical Disease Department, warned that the outbreak appeared for the first time three months ago. The department is treating nearly 300 dengue fever patients.
In recent days, the number of dengue fever cases has continuously increased. Every day, the department receives 30 to 40 patients, accounting for more than half of those being treated there, he said.
Due to a large number of patients, the hospital has to add folding beds, he said.
According to Hà Nội Centre for Disease Control (CDC), the number of dengue fever cases has increased rapidly in the last three weeks.
Inspection and supervision at the hot spots showed a number of shortcomings such as incomplete treatment and unsatisfactory chemical spraying rates.
The mosquito and larvae index inspected at An Thắng Street, Biên Giang Ward, Hà Đông District and Vĩnh Quỳnh Commune, Thanh Trì District exceeded the allowed level.
Hospital E’s doctors noted that dengue fever cases this year are more serious with symptoms such as coughing up blood, vaginal bleeding before the period, black stools, elevated liver enzymes, pleural effusion, and low blood pressure.
Dr Cao advised people to visit hospitals for check-ups when they have a sudden high fever.
Check-ups are needed to classify level of the disease and have proper treatment, he said.
In the guidelines for dengue fever diagnosis and treatment, the Ministry of Health noted eight groups infected with dengue fever that must be considered for hospitalisation.
They include those living alone, living far from medical facilities, and those unable to be hospitalised when the disease worsens.
Infants, overweight patients, pregnant women, people aged over 60 and those with underlying conditions like kidney, heart, and liver diseases, asthma, poorly controlled chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, or hemolytic anemia should be hospitalised as well.
According to the Health Preventive Department under the health ministry, as of July 14, there have been 46,658 dengue fever cases across the country and 11 deaths (in Đồng Nai, Phú Yên, Khánh Hòa, Bình Phước, Đắk Lắk and Gia Lai provinces, and HCM City). — VNS