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Prime Minister fights to stop dengue fever

Update: September, 12/2015 - 08:53

A dengue fever patient at Bach Mai General Hospital in Ha Noi. More than 29,000 dengue fever cases in 50 of the 63 provinces and cities nationwide in the first eight months of 2015. — Photo Do Hang

HA NOI (VNS)— Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has given a number of directions to authorities and relevant agencies, requesting them to stem the outbreak of dengue fever, which is on the rise in 50 cities and provinces across the country, especially in the southern region.

In the PM's recent urgent notice, municipal and provincial authorities were asked to launch public campaigns to eradicate mosquito and larva with chemical sprays, especially in construction sites and residential areas lacking clean water.

Local Departments of Health must closely monitor the situation and provide prompt treatment.

Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam yesterday also asked provinces, cities and relevant sectors nationwide to take drastic measures to stop the spread of dengue fever in Viet Nam.

In a message released yesterday, he said provinces and cities should launch education and communication campaigns and encourage people to take drastic measures to kill mosquitoes and mosquito larva with traditional methods or chemicals in their homes.

Places at high risk of dengue fever were construction sites, those with a high density of population or water shortage and areas with unhygienic conditions, Dam said.

People with dengue symptoms, such as high fever, headache and pain in muscles or bone joints, should go immediately to hospitals for examination and treatment, instead of doing self-treatment at home.

Provincial health departments have been told to closely monitor the situation to detect and treat the disease early, as well as to limit and control the dengue fever outbreak.

The health ministry has been requested to instruct and inspect localities about supervision and detection, as well as to provide preventive and treatment plans to help localities that were battling dengue fever outbreaks.

The information and communication ministry has been asked to work closely with mass media to provide timely and sufficient information about dengue fever and measures to prevent it from spreading in the community.

Alarming rise

Dengue fever was spreading at an alarming rate in most provinces and cities of Viet Nam, the health ministry's Preventive Medicine Department Director Tran Dac Phu said at a press conference yesterday in Ha Noi.

"The number of dengue fever cases has been increasing, compared with the same period last year. However, it is still lower than the 2009-13 period," Phu said.

"To date, there are no preventive medicines or vaccines against dengue fever. So the best preventive measures are to kill mosquitoes and mosquito larva and to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes," Phu said.

The health ministry said there were more than 29,000 dengue fever cases in 50 of the 63 provinces and cities nationwide in the first eight months of 2015, compared with 31,000 cases in 2014.

Eighteen people died of dengue fever in 10 provinces and cities, mainly in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta provinces, compared with 20 deaths in 2014.

Hand, foot, mouth

The number of children infected with hand, foot and mouth (HFM) disease has also increased over the last few weeks and is expected to continue to rise over the next two months.

HFM usually appears in August and reaches its peak in October and November, according to Truong Huu Khanh, head of the HCM City Paediatrics Hospital No.1's Infectious Diseases Ward.

The ward is treating nearly 60 in-patients with hand, foot and mouth disease, Khanh said.

Two weeks ago, the number of in-patients at the hospital totalled 30-40. The hospital has reported more than 1,230 hand, foot and mouth cases this year.

The disease, which mostly affects children under three years old, has no specific treatment, Khanh said.— VNS

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