Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — Temperatures in HCM City shot up to 33 degrees Celsius last week, triggering respiratory and digestive disease and hand, foot, and mouth disease among children, according to the city’s Paediatrics Hospital 1.
Dr Phạm Văn Hoàng of the city Paediatrics Hospital 1 said April and May are the peak heat periods in the city, with temperatures reaching as high as of 39 degrees Celsius, resulting in a growing number of sick children.
Last week, the hospital’s doctors examined and treated 4,500 to 5,000 children every day, around 30 per cent contracted respiratory disorders, 10 per cent digestive problems and 5 per cent hand, foot, and mouth disease. Nearly 7,000 children visited the city’s Paediatrics Hospital 2 for disease examination and treatment every day last week.
Although the efects of the heat are not yet fully felt, judging by previous years, these figures will grow in the coming weeks.
In March of last year, for example, 7,282 children in the southern city of Cần Thơ were diagnosed with pneumonia, an increase of 2,000 cases compared to February, Tuổi Trẻ News reported. On average, over 6,000 kids are treated at one of the city hospitals each day, but on April 11 the number surged to 7,656.
Colds, acute diarrhea
A five-year-old boy from Tân Phú District was coughing constantly for several day and visited a doctor. The doctor diagnosed a sore throat and gave him medicine. Đỗ Thị Doan, from the neighbouring province of Bình Dương, said that her daughter also had a sore throat causing fever for more than a week.
Doan was worried because the girl had recurrent fever and a runny nose. So Doan brought her to the city’s Paediatrics Hospital 1.
Bùi Hoàng Anh Thư of Hóc Môn District said that his son vomited, has had fever and diarrhea for three days. He was hospitalised at the city Paediatrics Hospital 1 and diagnosed with acute diarrhea.
Dr Hoàng said that hot weather of at least 33 degrees Celsius creates favourable conditions for the development of bacteria causing diarrhea, which can be contracted by persons of any age.
Acute diarrhea can be fatal if it is not treated in a timely fashion, he added.
When children have increased frequency of stools or watery stools, they should be brought to hospital as soon as possible, he said.
Many causes for diarrhea among children are food contaminated with salmonella, shigella, E.coli and vibrio cholerae.
Young children often suck fingers or hold toys in their mouth so it is easy for bacteria to get into their body causing diarrhea and other conditions.
Parents should the clean toys and hands of children frequently, Hoàng advised.
The city’s Preventive Health Centre said that three patients with salmonella in the city were reported in the first three months of the year.
Last year, 43 patients were infected with salmonella, which can exist in water for two to three weeks and ice water for two to three months, the centre said.
Everyone, including workers at canteens of companies and schools and meal suppliers, should obey regulations on food safety and hygiene, such as seperating cooked food with fresh food and covering food. —VNS