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A resident of Binh Tan district learns about preventive methods against dengue fever and Zika infections (Photo: VNA)
Localities intensify measures to prevent dengue fever and Zika virus.

According to the Ministry of Health, the dengue infections dropped by 20 percent in the first months of 2017. However, at present, the disease is increasing in some cities and provinces such as Da Nang, Quang Nam, Quang Ngai, Binh Thuan, Thua Thien-Hue, Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Binh Duong, Bac Lieu, Ca Mau, Tra Vinh, Vinh Long, Hau Giang and Dak Lak. The country has recorded several Zika cases in some cities and provinces in the south where the rainy season is creating favourable conditions for mosquitoes to develop.


Given the fact, the health ministry has requested the centrally-run provincial and municipal People's Committees to direct departments, organisations and people to actively eliminate mosquito larva to prevent the spread of the diseases.

Localities must ensure medicine, chemicals and necessary equipment to carry out prevention activities.The provincial and municipal health departments are ordered to increase inspection for the early detection of infections and prevention of outbreaks. The health sector will open more training courses o­n monitoring patients, spraying chemicals, and dealing with outbreaks. Medical facilities should ensure the prompt treatment of patients to limit the number of fatalities.

The Departments of Information and Communication is responsible for coordinating with the heath sector to raise public awareness of preventive measures. The Departments of Finance need to proactively provide money for the prevention activities.

Dengue fever increases in April

Spraying chemical to kill off mosquitoes, the vector of dengue fever and other mosquito-borne diseases,
in Hoai Duc district, Hanoi. (Photo: VNA)

recorded nearly 6,900 cases of dengue fever infections in April, compared to the average figure of 4,000 in the first three months of the year.

According to the Health Ministry, since the beginning of this year, 20,947 people have contracted the disease, with eight of them dying. In Hanoi alone, 500 dengue fever cases were reported during the period, up 45 percent from last year. 

In response to the development, the municipal Health Department has intensified communications campaigns o­n public sanitation and mosquito prevention, while chemicals to kill mosquitoes have been sprayed in areas at high risk of outbreaks.

Dengue fever is transmitted by mosquitoes carrying the virus. Its symptoms include high fever, headaches and joint aches, which can be confused with symptoms of other diseases. The disease has potentially dangerous complications such as shock, respiratory failure, coagulation, liver damage and altered mental status, and can be fatal.

HCM City sees 19 new Zika cases in 2017

Nineteen Zika virus cases have been reported in HCM City since the beginning of the year, according to the city Preventive Health Centre.

Since April 2016, when the first case was reported, 210 people in the city have tested positive for the Zika virus, which is transmitted via infected Aedes mosquitoes. Of the 210 patients, 51 were pregnant, said Dr Le Hong Nga, head of the centre's contagious diseases' control division, at a monthly meeting with the city's Department of Health and district-level health centres o­n May 2. Of the pregnant patients, 19 gave birth to babies with no visible birth defects, including an abnormally small head, which sometimes occurs with Zika infections.

Nga has instructed all district-level health centres to strengthen surveillance and reduce the density of mosquitoes in high-risk areas. Preventive methods can also help control dengue fever, which has seen a downward trend in the first four months, with 6,501 new incidences, a decrease of nearly 20 percent compared to the same period last year. "However, several districts such as 5, 10, Go Vap, Tan Binh and Can Gio have wards with an increase in dengue cases," she said. Inspection of the city's 13,636 high-risk sites should be strengthened, she said.

Last month, municipal health officials checked o­nly 50 percent of these areas and fined violators at eight of them. Dr Dang Quang Tai of the department?s Health Communication and Education Centre said that district-level health centre officials had provided information about preventive methods, including dengue fever and Zika viruses, to all households in high-risk areas. In District 12, for instance, health officials travelling o­n motorbikes have communicated information with loudspeakers o­n alleys and roads. However, communication staff at several district-level health centres lack necessary skills and have been ineffective in educating local residents.

Dengue fever is transmitted by mosquitoes carrying the virus. Its symptoms include high fever, headaches and joint aches, which can be confused with symptoms of other diseases. Meanwhile, Zika virus is transmitted from human to human by mosquitoes. Infections have been linked to the birth defect microcephaly and miscarriages, posing a significant threat to pregnant women. There is currently no vaccine or effective treatment for the infection and companies and scientists are racing to develop a vaccine.




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