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Dengue patients’ reluctance to go to hospital amid Covid-19 pandemic ‘could prove deadly’

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Ho Chi Minh City Children’s Hospital 1 now has 60 children with dengue, including seven whose health status is worsening due to their underlying medical conditions. VIETNAM NEWS AGENCY/VIET NAM NEWS

Dengue patients’ reluctance to go to hospital amid Covid-19 pandemic ‘could prove deadly’

People with dengue fever should go to the hospital and not be worried about Covid-19 transmission, doctors in Vietnam have warned.

A 17-year-old dengue patient in Hanoi recently died after being treated at home.

A 20-year-old patient in Ho Chi Minh City was brought to the District 11 Hospital with a low platelet count and other severe symptoms and was diagnosed with dengue fever. The hospital’s Dr Pham Anh Tuan said luckily she had not yet gotten shock syndrome, which would have made it difficult to save her life.

The woman had a high fever for three days, but her family did not want to take her to a hospital for treatment fearing Covid-19.

Tuan said dengue fever causes unexpected complications and people should not try to treat it themselves.

Dr Nguyen Thanh Phong, head of the infectious diseases department D at Ho Chi Minh City’s Hospital for Tropical Diseases, said not going to a hospital for dengue treatment because of Covid-19 fears is very dangerous since the disease has a high fatality rate.

Doctors said dengue fever could become severe between the fifth and seventh days, and if a patient vomits, bleeds from the nose or has abdominal pain then, they should go to a hospital.

Preventive measures against Covid-19 were stringent at hospitals, which had also set up areas for people with symptoms of respiratory diseases, and so people should not be worried about going to hospitals.

Huynh Van Dong, head of the Centres for Diseases Control and Prevention in Khanh Hoa province, said many dengue patients came to hospitals in a very bad state after treating themselves at home due to fear of contracting Covid-19.

The province had 2,546 dengue cases in the first seven months of the year.

People should protect themselves against dengue fever since hospitals in many provinces and cities are getting more and more cases, health departments have said.

The Hanoi Department of Health has reported 1,422 cases this year, including one death.

In Ho Chi Minh City, nearly 11,404 dengue fever cases have been reported, including 543 in the last week of August alone, 16 more than in the entire four previous weeks. There were outbreaks in 31 wards and communes in 13 districts that week and the year’s first fatality.

The city Centre for Diseases Control and Prevention forecast the disease to peak next month or November but the number to be lower than in previous years.

But it warned that the public should not be neglectful.

The city Children’s Hospital 1 now has 60 children with dengue, including seven whose health status is worsening due to their underlying medical conditions.

Dr Pham Van Quang, head of its intensive recuperation department, said the hospital managed to cure a 12-year-old boy with severe dengue and obesity. He had a fever and abdominal pain for three days.

This was his second time after contracting a different strain of dengue three years ago, he said.

Children and adults who contract the disease should be treated in time, he warned.

Children’s Hospital 2 is now treating 25 patients, of whom nearly 10 per cent are worsening.

South of Cambodia’s Prey Veng and Svay Rieng provinces, The Mekong Delta province of Long An has reported nearly 1,000 cases this year. All its 15 districts, towns and city have had cases, though the districts of Duc Hoa, Ben Luc, Can Duoc, and Can Giuoc and Tan An city account for 71 per cent of them.

Since last month, Son La province in the far north has reported 25 cases, 24 ones in Hat Lot town and one in Son La city.

East of Cambodia’s Mondulkiri province, the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak recorded more than 500 cases last month.

VIET NAM NEWS/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

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