Ministry raises dengue fever alert in northern Vietnam

By Le Nga   August 30, 2023 | 08:00 pm PT
Ministry raises dengue fever alert in northern Vietnam
Doctor Do Duy Cuong at Bach Mai Hospital in Hanoi checks a dengue fever patient, August 2023. Photo courtesy of the hospital
The Health Ministry recorded a 125% increase in the number of dengue patients over the first eight months in the north, warning that the epidemic will become more complicated in the coming time.

In the year to Aug. 25, Vietnam had recorded 66,386 dengue fever cases. Of them, 14 had died.

The number of cases dropped 71% against the same period last year in the south, 44.4% in the central region, and 34% in the Central Highlands, according to the Ministry of Health.

However, it jumped by as high as 125.2% in the northern region, with Hanoi posting an increase of 5.3 times. During the period, the capital city recorded 5,190 cases.

Explaining the rise of dengue, a mosquito-borne disease, in the north, the ministry said the region is having high humidity as it has had both rainy and sunny weather, creating favorable conditions for mosquitoes to reproduce and grow.

The ministry said the environment at construction sites, factories, and rented apartments of workers has not received enough attention to be kept clean and airy, resulting in the emergence of mosquito larvae.

Especially, climate change and the ongoing El Nino that create more hot and humid weather can promote mosquito breeding, causing dengue fever and other mosquito-borne diseases to increase rapidly.

"It is expected that in the coming time, dengue fever could develop even more serious if drastic measures are not to be taken, especially operations to destroyed mosquito larvae," the ministry said Wednesday.

Doctors said people should get themselves checked if they have a fever of 39-40 degrees Celsius, severe headache, muscle pain, and eye pain.

In the case of dengue, the most dangerous period for a patient is after those symptoms have disappeared, they warned.

Vietnam has been trying to find an effective way to tackle dengue, one of the biggest killers among the 28 common infectious diseases affecting its populace.

The only vaccine available globally is not recommended for people who have not had dengue before.

In 2023, over 3 million cases and over 1,500 dengue-related deaths have been reported globally so far, according to the European CDC, an agency of the EU.

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