Dengue fever, a viral illness spread by mosquitoes, is endemic to Hanoi and Vietnam, as the country has the mosquito species capable of transmitting the disease, said an epidemiologist with the Centre.
The current outbreaks are a major concern because of the potential for the disease to get firmly established in the local mosquito population, which would increase the chances of an epidemic, he told reporters.
Symptoms of dengue fever typically begin within a week of being bitten by an infected mosquito and can include fever, rash, joint or muscle pains, headaches or pain behind the eyes.
The epidemiologist added that symptoms usually last between two and seven days and are known to be pretty brutal.
There is currently no vaccine or specific treatment for dengue fever, but early detection can keep the disease from being fatal. The Centre recommends bed rest and taking acetaminophen to treat fever and pain.
In addition, health officials at the Centre are encouraging people to use mosquito repellents and wear long sleeves and pants to limit exposure to the insects and help stop the spread of the disease.