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Vietnam calls for ‘drastic measures’ to control dengue

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As soon as the outbreak was detected, local authorities cleaned the environment and sprayed chemicals to kill mosquitoes and residents were examined at the commune’s health centre. VIETNAM NEWS AGENCY/VIET NAM NEWS

Vietnam calls for ‘drastic measures’ to control dengue

Dengue fever infections could explode in Vietnam if “drastic measures” to control the disease are not taken, the Ministry of Health has warned.

Since the beginning of this year, dengue fever has been reported in almost all localities in Vietnam, it said.

By the middle of last month, nearly 30,000 dengue cases had been reported in 58 provinces and cities, of which, three people in the provinces of Binh Dinh, Binh Phuoc and Tay Ninh died of the disease.

Up to this week, 12 provinces and cities across the country, namely Nghe An, Quang Binh, Quang Tri, Thua Thien-Hue, Quang Nam, Quang Ngai, Binh Dinh, Phu Yen, Khanh Hoa, Ben Tre, Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, reported new dengue cases weekly.

In the last six months, Hanoi confirmed 634 dengue cases in 28 out of 30 its districts and 198 out of 579 communes/wards.

Hanoi’s major dengue outbreaks are Phuc Tho district’s Tam Hiep commune (182 cases), Thuong Tim district’s Khanh Ha commune (48 cases) and Thanh Oai district’s Thanh Thuy commune (44 cases).

The city’s health department said the number of dengue cases of this year is fewer than that in the same period of last year but in the last few weeks, the number has been increasing.

The central province of Ha Tinh on Monday announced this year’s first outbreak of dengue fever in the province.

The province’s Centre for Diseases Control vice-head Nguyen Chi Thanh said at least six people in Ky Nam commune’s Tan Thanh hamlet in the province’s Ky Anh town were confirmed to have dengue.

The first reported case was a 41-year-old woman who returned from Quang Binh province which also reported cases of dengue.

As soon as the outbreak was detected, Thanh said, local authorities cleaned the environment and sprayed chemicals to kill mosquitoes and residents were examined at the commune’s health centre.

The health ministry last week asked localities to speed up activities to kill larvae to once a week in high-risk areas where dengue cases were reported and twice a week in areas with a high density of mosquitoes/larvae.

National Hospital for Tropical Diseases emergency department head Dr Pham Trung Cap said dengue fever had two common complications – a decrease in platelet counts and dangerously low blood pressure.

When a patient suffered from a low level of blood platelets, they would not feel fatigued so people easily ignore their symptoms until massive bleeding appeared. With dangerously low blood pressure, patients usually felt very fatigued, pain in the liver area, vomiting and drowsiness lasting for 24 to 48 hours.

Cap said both complications were dangerous to patients. Bleeding could be seen easily but other complications were hard to see.

“Finding early warning signals of complications is very important,” Cap said, adding that patients must go to the hospital at once when they see symptoms of bleeding, continuously vomiting, severe stomach-ache, unconsciousness, cold hands/feet or breathing difficulties.

People who continued having a high fever after taking medicine should also go to the hospital as soon as possible, Cap said.

On average, Vietnam reports more than 100,000 dengue cases yearly, ministry data show. However, last year, the number hit 320,331 cases, the highest figure in the last 32 years, with 53 deaths.

VIET NAM NEWS/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

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