Rainy season triggers outbreak of dengue fever in Ho Chi Minh City and the Southern provinces and it has seen an increase of cases of the disease in hospitals.
Therefore, the Ministry of Health launched the ASEAN Dengue Day in HCMC yesterday.
Since the early June, the Children Hospital No.1 in HCMC received many cases of dengue fever from the Mekong delta provinces of Tien Giang, Long An, Dong Thap and HCMC. Dr. Nguyen Thanh Hung, hospital director, said that doctors examine and treat around 10 – 20 children under 5 year old a day.
The situation is similar in other hospitals including HCMC-based Children Hospital No.2 and Pediatrics Ward of the Tropical Disease Hospital.
According to the municipal Department of Health, from May 29 to June 4, 97 patients were reportedly taken to hospitals, an 21 case increase compared to the same period last year.
So far, 4,633 people have been hospitalized. Worse, two of them succumbed to the disease. Nguyen Huu Hung, deputy director of the Department of Health said that the rate of inpatients increased by 27 percent compared to same period last year as the disease has spreaded from the end of 2014 to present.
Head of the Preventive Medicine Department Dr. Tran Dac Phu said that the annual average cases of dengue fever in the country is 100,000. So far, the country has reported more than 20,000 infection cases and it is anticipated that the number will increase more and more in peak rainy season.
Dr. Phu said that most of dengue fever cases are from the Southern provinces such as HCMC, BInh Duong, Ba Ria- Vung Tau and Dong Nai, warning a big outbreak in the country.
According to Dr. Phan Trong Lan, head of Pasteur Institute in HCMC, Dengue fever is one of diseases of the twenty-first century. It is circulating in 128 nations. Every year, the world has over 300 million people suffering dengue fever. 75 percent of them fall on Asia-Pacific region. However, it is a very serious problem that there has been no vaccine against the disease, yet.
In addition, residents’ low awareness in preventing the disease is a barrier, said Dr. Tran Dac Phu. For instance, many families do not allow medical workers to spray chemicals in their houses. Furthermore, fund for dengue fever prevention is cut and bonuses for medical workers are not high.
Deputy Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long said for years, the rate of dengue fever patients in Vietnam has decreased drastically yet. Mr. Long urged citizens should spend 10 minutes every day for checking water containers and flower vases they owned and destroying all mosquito larvae they found.