Vietnam health ministry steps up anti-dengue campaign

By Le Nga   July 30, 2019 | 02:19 am PT
Vietnam health ministry steps up anti-dengue campaign
A health worker sprays chemicals to kill mosquitoes at a house in southern Vietnam. Photo by VnExpress/Phuoc Tuan.
With 10 deaths from 105,000 recorded dengue infections this year, Vietnam is stepping up prevention efforts in 20 localities.

Inspection teams from the Ministry of Health will visit 20 cities and provinces in the southern central, Central Highlands and southern regions where most outbreaks have been recorded to date, including Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, and Khanh Hoa Province which is home to popular beach town Nha Trang.

As of Monday, Vietnam had recorded 105,000 cases of dengue fever, 10 of whom died. The number of infections is three times higher than the same period last year.

With the current weather conditions in the south and central regions, a combination of warmth and continuous rain, the virus carrying mosquitoes will have favorable conditions to spread, health officials said.

The number of infections and deaths could rise in the coming months, the ministry has warned.

The national teams visiting the localities have been tasked with checking implementation of dengue prevention plans, especially work done to destroy mosquito larvae. They will also call on authorities to join hands with each other in tackling the problem.

They are also obliged to calling all related parties at each cities and provinces to join hands in the fight against the epidemic and make suggestions when needed to ensure the campaign to prevent dengue fever as effective as possible.

Aside from the mission teams, the ministry said it will launch three campaigns from now until the year-end to cull mosquito larvae and spray chemicals to kill mosquitoes at public places.

Vietnam has been trying to find an effective way to tackle dengue, one of the biggest killers out 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 the transmission of the dengue virus.

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