Health Ministry to intensify mosquito killing campaign as dengue worsens
|Spray chemical to kill mosquito larva (Photo: VNA)| The Health Ministry will intensify the spraying of mosquito-killing chemicals in high-risk areas as the dengue fever epidemic shows signs of worsening, especially in Hanoi.
At a meeting on combating dengue fever in Hanoi on August 10, Director of the Preventive Medicine Department Tran Dac Phu reported that 82,000 cases of dengue fever had been reported in the country so far this year with 24 deaths and some 60,000 people hospitalised, a year-on-year increase of 24.8 percent. More cases are expected as it is now the peak of the disease season. Health Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien expressed concerns at the rising trend of dengue fever in Hanoi despite drastic efforts made by the health sector. Hanoi ranks second after Ho Chi Minh City in the number of dengue patients with 13,900 cases as of August 9.
The Preventive Medicine Department stressed that the main cause of the spread of dengue fever is the early arrival of summer this year with higher temperature and rainfalls than in previous years. The awareness about disease prevention among population and authorities is low due to the absence of the epidemic for years.
The department has set up three mobile taskforces to deal with the dengue epidemic. The Health Ministry will send experts from the Central to help four Hanoi districts hardest hit by the epidemic and dispatch six teams to inspect anti-epidemic work in eight hot-bed provinces.
In particular, the health sector will mobilize the cooperation of other branches and sectors such as the police, the army, the construction industry, the natural resources and environment sector and the education sector to clean up the environment and kill mosquitos at construction sites, public areas as well as at houses and schools.
Hanoi works to minimize dengue fatalities
As of August 9, the capital city reported 13,274 dengue infections, including six deaths
(Illustrative image. Source: VNA)
The Hanoi Department of Health is intensifying measures to reduce the number of fatalities caused by mosquito-borne dengue fever - which is likely to cause more infections due to hot and rainy weather.
As of August 9, the capital city reported 13,274 dengue infections, including six deaths. The sixth patient, who reportedly died of dengue fever on August 9 night at the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases, was a 56-year-old woman from Thanh Xuan district. She was hospitalised five days earlier with cardiac arrest and multi-organ failure. The five other fatalities were from the capital's Hoang Mai, Dong Da, Ba Dinh and Ha Dong districts. Data from the city's Centre for Preventive Medicine show that 90 percent of dengue patients live in the districts of Hoang Mai, Dong Da, Thanh Xuan, Ha Dong, Cau Giay, Hai Ba Trung, Thanh Tri, Thanh Oai, Thuong Tin, and Hoai Duc. Dengue fever generally mimics flu symptoms and goes away within a week, but some cases can be more serious and require hospitalisation.
The rapid increase in the number of dengue fever patients has pushed hospitals into overload, including the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases, Bach Mai Hospital, Thanh Nhan Hospital and Dong Da Hospital. The National Hospital of Tropical Diseases treats hundreds of people with dengue fever symptoms every day, forcing its medical staff to work earlier and through weekends to fight the epidemic.The hospital on August 9 had to use its meeting room to set up 20 beds for patients. That morning, 500 people arrived at the hospital for dengue-fever examinations. Director of the hospital Nguyen Van Kinh predicts that the situation will continue due to abnormal weather and the increase of dengue patients in Hanoi. Dong Da Hospital is also overloaded, serving 400-500 dengue patients daily, about 20 percent of whom hospitalised. It has to arrange more space for dengue treatment, even in doctors? workrooms. Additionally, Thanh Nhan hospital receives some 300 patients with dengue fever every day.
Given the risk of the disease outbreak expanding, the municipal health sector has stepped up measures to ensure the environment is hygiene, kill mosquito larva and focus on treatment of patients. The city has increased forces to prevent dengue across 269 communes and wards. From August 14 to the month's end, the Preventive Medicine Department will spray chemical at the precincts of Dong Da and Hai Ba Trung, and some wards in Ba Dinh, and Hoan Kiem.
The Health Ministry urged localities to continue implementing recommendations on dengue prevention and control which include destroying habitats where mosquitoes breed, ensuring a clean living environment, using mosquito repellents and wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants..
Dengue fever is a viral infection transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no specific treatment for dengue and vaccination options are limited. Patients who develop a sudden high fever of 39-40 degrees Celsius, lasting 2-7 days and with symptoms of headaches, tenderness and skin rashes should visit a hospital for diagnosis and treatment.