Dengue fever case number down, but severity in some young patients concerning: Health authorities

October 06, 2023 - 08:08


A doctor explains treatment method to a dengue patient at the National Hospital of Tropical Diseases. Photo


HÀ NỘI — The country has currently recorded more than 93,800 cases of dengue fever and 26 deaths, as reported by the Ministry of Health.

The number of cases has decreased by 58 per cent and deaths by 91 cases compared to the same period last year, which recorded 228,490 and 117, respectively.

Notably, this year’s patients with severe dengue fever have shown complicated developments, many of whom are young but experience severe complications when infected.

According to figures from the Hà Nội Department of Health, the number of dengue fever cases in the city has increased rapidly in the last four weeks.

From the beginning of the year until now, Hà Nội has had nearly 16,000 people infected with dengue fever, more than three times higher than the same period last year, resulting in three deaths.

Infectious cases have been reported in all 30 districts, towns, and cities, spanning 557 communes, wards, and townships.

Districts in the city with many patients include Hoàng Mai with 1,141 cases, Phú Xuyên (951), Thanh Trì (928), Thạch Thất (924), Hà Đông (904), Đống Đa (852), Cầu Giấy (846), Nam Từ Liêm (754), Đan Phượng (744) and Thanh Oai (723).

Dr. Vũ Trọng Dược, head of the Dengue Fever Office in the North of the Central Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, said that Hà Nội recording the highest number of dengue cases is in line with the general epidemiological trend of the entire region.

Typically, Hà Nội, as well as other provinces in the northern region, start recording cases from July and August, peaking in September and October.

This year, weather factors such as heat and rain have been very favourable for mosquitoes to breed at high densities, thereby spreading the virus more robustly within the community, Dược noted.

Additionally, Hà Nội has characteristics that cause dengue fever to spread more rapidly than in other provinces in the northern region, due to frequent travel and trade, as well as a dense population, he added.

At the National Hospital of Tropical Diseases, the number of dengue fever patients has risen significantly since September.

Currently, this medical facility is treating more than 200 dengue patients transferred from many northern provinces, the majority of whom are from Hà Nội.

Young patients, severe developments

According to Dr. Nguyễn Trung Cấp, vice director of the National Hospital of Tropical Diseases, the number of hospitalised dengue fever patients has been increasing rapidly in recent days.

On average, the hospital receives 4-5 cases daily, displaying warning signs of dengue shock, including symptoms of abdominal pain, liver pain, mucosal bleeding, low platelet count, and concentrated blood.

"These cases need to be detected and treated promptly because, after only 4-6 hours, the patient can go into dengue shock. Consequently, the patient's condition can deteriorate very quickly, potentially leading to death,” said Cấp.

“Therefore, medical facilities must ensure patients are transferred to receive the correct and timely treatment,” he added.

About 5 per cent of dengue patients being treated at this hospital are in a severe condition.

Dr Phạm Văn Phúc, deputy head of the Intensive Care Department at the National Hospital of Tropical Diseases, mentioned that this year's severe dengue fever patients have exhibited complicated developments due to various medical conditions. These conditions include haemorrhage resulting from fluid leakage, shock caused by thrombocytopenia, and bleeding.

Notably, among the dengue patients requiring mechanical ventilation in the Intensive Care Department, most are young, but their conditions are severe, Phúc noted.

The dengue virus strains circulating in 2023 are primarily D1 and D2, with no deviation from the strains observed in recent years, according to the doctor.

The World Health Organisation has stated that, in 2023 and 2024, climate change coupled with the El Nino phenomenon might expedite mosquito breeding, leading to an increase in the transmission of dengue fever and other mosquito-borne diseases.

It's anticipated that, as the rainy season peaks, the number of infections will become more complicated and will likely rise if disease prevention measures aren't rigorously implemented, particularly efforts directed at eradicating mosquitoes and larvae. — VNS