A baby coming down with measles is receiving treatment at the Việt Nam National Children's Hospital in Hà Nội. The city has recorded nearly 1,200 cases of the disease since the start of the year. — VNA/VNS Photo Dương Ngọc
HÀ NỘI — Hà Nội recorded 1,193 cases of measles since the beginning of this year, however, there has been no death from this disease, according to the city's health authorities.
Last week, the capital city recorded 88 cases of the disease, a decrease of one case compared to the week from April 29 to May 5. The number of measles cases over the past week has decreased slightly in comparison with previous weeks; however, the epidemic will likely continue to increase with about 70-80 cases per week, in line with the upward trend of measles cases across the country, according to the Hà Nội Centre for Disease Control.
Nguyễn Nhật Cảm, director of centre, said that authorities had been warning of a potential measles outbreak in the city since last year.
In 2014, a measles epidemic broke out in Hà Nội leading to a record 1,700 cases that claimed the lives of 14 people.
“Measles is highly contagious, and could infect 100 per cent of unvaccinated people who are exposed to a carrier of the disease,” Cảm said.
The issue is not only affecting the capital. In February this year, it was reported that measles had hit 43 provinces across the country.
By the end of 2018 and in early 2019, the city has vaccinated more than half a million children aged 1-5. The rate of vaccinated children suffering from the disease is very low compared to other groups, showing the effectiveness of the vaccine, according to Cảm.
According to the latest statistics from the Hà Nội Centre for Disease Control, the city has not recorded any large, concentrated outbreaks but rather small, scattered occurrences throughout all urban and rural districts of Hà Nội.
In order to prevent the epidemic from spreading, the health department said people should be more active in getting vaccinations.
Every year, there are still 5,000-8,000 children, equivalent to 3-5 per cent, who are not vaccinated against measles.
Some 170 countries around the world have recorded measles outbreaks with at least 112,163 cases so far this year. The number of measles cases globally has increased by 300 per cent compared to the same period in 2018, according to the World Health Organisation. The issue has been particularly severe in Africa, which has seen the number of incidents shot up by 700 per cent.
Measles is not the only disease for city residents to be worries about during summertime, as ten cases of dengue fever were recorded in the capital city last week.
Early implementation of measures to prevent dengue fever has reduced the number cases in Hà Nội, according to Hoàng Đức Hạnh, deputy director of Hà Nội Health Department.
Since the beginning of 2019, the city has recorded 224 dengue fever cases. No deaths have been recorded.
The districts with a high number of cases include Cầu Giấy, Hà Đông, Đống Đa, Hoàng Mai, Hai Bà Trưng and Nam Từ Liêm.
Hà Nội also recorded nine cases of hand-foot-and-mouth disease.
The Health Department would continue to direct units to strengthen the prevention of infectious diseases, especially measles and dengue fever, as summer arrives, Hạnh said. VNS