Health ministry warns of Covid, flu surges amid Tet travel, weather

By Le Nga   January 18, 2024 | 05:21 pm PT
Health ministry warns of Covid, flu surges amid Tet travel, weather
Children receive treatment for respiratory diseases at Thanh Nhan Hospital in Hanoi, April 2023. Photo by VnExpress/The Dai
With Tet approaching and the increased travel it entails, the Ministry of Health has urged the public to be vigilant against respiratory diseases.

Besides people coming into contact with each other as they travel, the change in the weather too is a prime condition for pathogens to spread, a ministry spokesperson said, warning that especially children and seniors with underlying conditions are at risk.

WHO reported around 10,000 Covid-19 deaths globally in December besides a 42% increase from November in the number of people hospitalized.

New Covid variants are constantly appearing, with the number of people infected with the JN.1 variant quickly rising across the globe.

In certain countries like the U.S. and China and in Europe, the incidence of Covid have been rising along with that of other respiratory diseases such as the flu and respiratory syncytial virus.

In Vietnam, the climate in the north has enabled the spread of several contagious diseases, especially respiratory.

In the last two weeks hospitals in Hanoi have received patients of all ages, mostly with the flu, some ill enough to require ventilation.

The National Hospital of Pediatrics has been receiving 100-150 children with the flu every day, with 15% requiring hospitalization.

Most of those hospitalized have also had pneumonia and required oxygen support.

Pham Van Phuc, deputy head of the intensive care department at the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Hanoi, said children and older people with underlying conditions are vulnerable to severe complications if they are infected with influenza A.

"It is the season for influenza A, partly because of the cold weather."

People should get flu shots every year and avoid going to crowded places, he added.

An official from the General Department of Preventive Medicine’s infectious disease control department said there is nothing unusual about the increase in the incidence of flu at this time of the year.

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