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Medical staff distribute anti-mosquito chemicals to people. (Photo: suckhoedoisong.vn)
Likely increase of dengue fever as rain continues


         Experts are warning against an outbreak of dengue fever and hand-foot-mouth disease as wet weather continues.


Although the number of dengue-fever cases has continued to fall in the last eight weeks, Hanoi is still struggling to fully contain the disease, Hoang Duc Hanh, Deputy Director of the Hanoi Department of Health, said at an online meeting held by the Hanoi People's Committee this week. Meanwhile, southern and central provinces are entering the peak season for dengue fever as extreme weather events create favorable conditions for mosquitoes.


"We have to continue reinforcing solutions in the next six weeks to prevent a second outbreak," said Nguyen Nhat Cam, Director of the Hanoi Preventive Health Centre. Officials leading prevention efforts have encountered several challenges. In Ha Dong district, larvae has been found in several homes, construction works and public places. Medical staff cannot spray the entire area due to a shortage of staff.  


According to the MoH, Vietnam has had more than 70,000 cases of hand-foot-mouth since the beginning of the year. In Hanoi, 450 patients were infected with the disease. Hand-foot-mouth disease is a viral infection that commonly occurs in children under the age of 10. Although it usually resolves on its own after seven to 10 days, it can lead to encephalitis, myocarditis, pulmonary oedema or even death.


The ministry has recommended people practise proper hand-washing hygiene, clean shared utensils, disinfect contaminated surfaces and avoiding direct contact with infected individuals. If children display signs and symptoms of hand-foot-mouth disease, including fever, nausea or skin lesions, parents should take them to the nearest medical facility for diagnosis and treatment.


Vietnam records over 148,260 cases of dengue fever


 More than 148,260 cases of dengue fever have been reported across the country since the outbreak began earlier this year, of which 30 people have lost their lives. This number was provided by the Ministry of Health during an intensive training workshop on the treatment of dengue fever and foot, hand and mouth disease in six western provinces that have witnessed a marked increase in the number of patients.


The workshop was held in Can Tho City recently. Speaking at the workshop, Associate Professor Luong Ngoc Khue, director of the Health Management Department, emphasised that the number of dengue fever cases had increased this year due to multiple factors, resulting in overcrowding at hospitals and health facilities. Therefore, the units must actively and continuously improve the quality of medical examination and treatment to reduce mortality, he said.


Spraying chemicals to kill mosquitoes. (Photo: VNA)


Hospitals and health centres also need to strengthen and maintain the operation of "dengue fever treatment groups" and a hotline to regularly consult and exchange information on specialisations and request for assistance when necessary, Khue said.


According to the Health Preventive Department, following seven weeks of implementation of active prevention activities, the number of dengue fever cases in Hanoi has decreased by 80 percent (from 500 cases to 100 cases per day). Experts said dengue fever in Hanoi has been consistently controlled due to the current drastic anti-epidemic activities.


To prevent an epidemic, the health sector has encouraged people to avoid being subjective and continuously inspect and clean water containers to prevent larvae and mosquito bites. There is also need to coordinate with health workers and local authorities to take necessary preventive measures.




10/23/2017
(Recapitulated)  

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