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Health experts worry the seasonal-disease epidemic during school period

Update: September, 07/2018 - 14:26
A baby with measles at HCM City’s Children’s Hospital 1.—VNA/VNS Photo
Viet Nam News

HCM CITY — HCM City’s Preventive Medicine Centre has warned that dengue fever, hand-foot-and-mouth disease and measles are threatening to spread at the start of the new school year.  

The warning was issued during an online conference on preventive medicine and healthcare held by the city’s Health Department and health officials from 24 districts on Wednesday, during which experts emphasised that preschool children living in suburban districts were at high risk of infection.

Dr Lê Hồng Nga, head of the Infectious Disease Control Department at the city’s Preventive Medicine Centre, said over the last eight months, the city had reported 10,146 cases of dengue fever and 2,500 cases of hand-foot-and-mouth disease, down 28 per cent and 31 per cent respectively against the same period in 2017.

In July and August, dengue cases increased in all 24 districts against May and June,  particularly in districts 5, 10, Hóc Môn and Cần Giờ.

In August alone, the number of hand-foot-and-mouth patients increased rapidly against June and July, especially in districts 2, 9, 12, Thủ Đức, Hóc Môn, Tân Bình, Nhà Bé and Bình Thạnh.

Nga said that July and August were the peak period for the epidemics.

The Preventive Medicine Centre has asked district-level health centres to increase inspections aimed at discovering potential outbreaks. 

Dr Nga said over the last eight months, the city had fined 89 individuals, organisations, enterprises and health centres for not carrying out the inspections as instructed.

Dr Nguyễn Hữu Hưng, deputy director of HCM City’s Health Department, warned that hand-foot-and-mouth disease was on the rise in suburban districts, so health centres needed to monitor at-risk groups in kindergartens and family-care units.

However, measles is also a matter of great concern, according to Hưng.

Dr Nga said hospitals were taking in measles patients from other provinces, so the risk of infection in the city was high, and measles is likely to spread further when the children go back to school.

"Children need to be given their measles vaccinations as required by the Ministry of Health,” Nga said. — VNS




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