Monday, July 13 2020

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Health ministry raises alarm over dengue fever

Update: June, 09/2020 - 08:00

 

A health worker at Tân Quý Ward, Tân Phú District, HCM City looks for mosquito larvae in residential area. — VNA/VNS Photo Đinh Hằng
 

HÀ NỘI — The Ministry of Health has announced Việt Nam had reported more than 24,000 cases of dengue from the beginning of this year to early this month in 58 out of its 63 provinces and cities.

Most of the cases were detected in southern provinces. Four people have died of the disease so far this year in Bình Thuận, Bình Phước and Cần Thơ provinces and HCM City.

The total number of cases and deaths has reduced greatly compared with the same period last year. In the first six months of 2019, nearly 50,000 people in 20 provinces/cities caught the disease and six of them died.

However, the ministry has warned that the period from June to August with more rain and hot and humid weather – a favourable condition for mosquitoes to develop - was usually the peak of dengue outbreaks.

The ministry also urged localities and people to be on the alert for the disease.

The Children's Hospital in the southern province of Cần Thơ reported that it had received more than 270 cases of dengue fever since the beginning of this year and the number of cases had increased in the last two weeks.

Ông Huy Thanh, vice director of the hospital, said dengue cases usually increased during the rainy season, so the hospital had prepared staff, equipment and medicine to respond.

“The hospital will arrange beds to avoid the situation where two or three patients have to share a bed,” Thanh said.

Doctor Nguyễn Huỳnh Nhật Trường, acting head of the hospital’s dengue department, said when children have a high fever for two or three days, headache and skin rashes, they should be tested for dengue.

“Late detection could make the children get blood spots, epistaxis, bleeding gums and vomit with blood, so treatment will be longer and more difficult,” Trường said.

Mosquito release

In the south-central city of Nha Trang, Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes will be released in 15 wards in the city, the municipal Health Department announced on Sunday.

Earlier, Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes were released in eight hamlets of Vĩnh Lương Commune in the city and proved their effectiveness.

Wolbachia is natural bacteria present in up to 60 per cent of insect species, including some mosquitoes. When implanted into mosquitoes, they have the ability to inhibit the development of the dengue virus.

The move is part of a project monitored by the Health Minister since 2013.

According to the south-central province of Khánh Hoà, nearly 2,000 cases of dengue were reported in the province since the beginning of this year, of which 150 reported in April and 285 cases in May.

Meanwhile, Hà Nội recorded 137 dengue cases last month. Since March, dozens of dengue outbreaks have been detected in HCM City.

Late last month, HCM City’s Centre for Diseases Control found mosquito larvae in eight out of 117 inspected schools.

Vice director of the city’s Health Department Nguyễn Hữu Hưng said school managers should be responsible for the presence of mosquito larvae at schools, which posed risks for dengue outbreaks.

The health department plans to work with the city’s Education and Training Department on the issue and ask schools to strictly follow regulations on disease prevention and control.

Last year, Việt Nam reported more than 320,700 cases of dengue fever, the highest number in the last 32 years and double the total cases of 2018. As many as 53 people died of the disease last year. — VNS

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