HCM CITY — The HCM City Department of Health will continue to take measures against the spread of diseases like dengue fever, hand-foot-mouth disease, flu, chicken pox and rubella in the first months of this year.
The department's Medicine Centre has been tasked with guiding health centres at district level in carrying out more effective prevention work.
At a workshop yesterday, Dr Nguyen Dac Tho, deputy director of the centre, asked participants to focus on kindergartens and schools in order to prevent the HFMD from spreading again at the beginning of this year.
If the prevention work were carried out well in kindergartens and schools, the number of patients contracting the disease would reduce, he said.
The hand-foot and mouth disease spread for a prolonged period last year, with 12,657 people contracting the disease, 30 of whom died. This compared to just 3,621 HFMD patients and one fatality in 2010, he added.
While the number of HFMD patients has reduced of late, it was still higher than the average of the previous four years.
Tho said the spraying of chemicals to destroy mosquitoes should be carried out regularly in order to prevent an increase in patients with dengue fever.
The centre's report showed that 12,477 patients were infected with dengue fever in 2011, an increase of 914 compared to 2010. Of these, 11 died, more than five times the figure in 2010.
In general, the number of patients with dengue fever decreased last December, but the disease was showing an upward trend in the last week of the month. Most of the new cases were in the districts 8, 6, 1, Tan Binh, and Binh Tan, Tho said.
The centre is strengthening efforts to ensure timely discovery of other diseases that occur during cold weather, like flu, chicken-pox and rubella, he said.
"It will also step up inspections and management of slaughter-houses and places where poultry is sold in order to prevent possible bird flu outbreaks," he added. —VNS