Dengue fever turns severe as patients miss early checkups: doctor

By Thu Anh   June 27, 2022 | 02:15 am PT
Many dengue fever patients did not come to hospital in time to have their early symptoms diagnosed, resulting in more severe conditions, a doctor said.

Pham Van Quang, head of the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Ho Chi Minh City Children's Hospital No. 1, said in most cases, dengue fever patients and their families had ignored warning signs when contracting the disease, creating the opportunity for it to get serious.

When experiencing a high body temperature, the most typical early symptom of dengue fever, most patients had chosen to be treated at home, said Quang.

After the high fever had gone, those people assumed they had already recovered.

However, for dengue fever, the period following high fever is the most critical, and patients must be carefully monitored every step of the way, he said.

So far, patients with dengue fever were only brought to hospitals when they had already developed severe symptoms like lethargy, bleeding gums, nosebleeds, and severe abdominal pain.

By then, it is very easy for the patient to suffer septic shock while the risk of fatality is high, the doctor added.

In other cases, dengue fever patients failed to follow the re-examination schedule, which also allows the disease to easily develop out of control, he said.

Doctor Pham Van Quang checks a dengue fever patient at the Ho Chi Minh City Childrens Hospital No. 1, June 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Thu Anh

Dr. Pham Van Quang checks a dengue fever patient at Ho Chi Minh City Children's Hospital No. 1, June 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Thu Anh

According to the Health Ministry, in the year to June 24, Vietnam had recorded 77,000 dengue fever patients, double the number of patients in the same period last year, with 30 dead.

In HCMC, 16,057 dengue fever cases had been recorded in the year to June 19, up 117.3 percent over the same period last year, and nine had died.

In Binh Duong Province which borders HCMC, 4,867 dengue fever cases have been recorded from early April to June 11, up 17.6 percent from the same period last year. Of those cases, eight have died.

Le Manh Hung, deputy director of the HCMC Hospital for Tropical Diseases, said dengue fever usually develops complicatedly in patients with obesity, chronic diseases, and pregnant women.

In order to prevent dengue fever from getting severe, doctors said people should have their health checked as soon as possible if suffering from a fever for over two days.

Health experts said it is now the rainy season in southern Vietnam, which means the peak of dengue fever since there is lot of stagnant water in which mosquito larvae breed.

Vietnam has been trying to find an effective way to tackle dengue, one of the biggest killers of its 28 common infectious diseases. The only vaccine for it available globally is not recommended for people who have not had dengue before.

The World Health Organization says vector control is the key strategy to prevent transmission of the dengue virus.

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