City officials said there have been at least 339 confirmed instances of dengue fever reported in the metropolitan area during the last week of June 2017, a significant uptick from earlier in the month.
Most of the cases are the milder, nonlethal form of the disease, reports Children Hospital No 2, with about 10% of the cases the lethal form, leaving patients in critical condition, fighting for their lives.
Dr Nguyen Minh Tuan, head of the dengue fever faculty at the HCM City Children Hospital No.1 also reports numerous patients near death with many placed on mechanical ventilators just to breathe.
Dengue occurs in tropical and subtropical parts of the world, transmitted by the bite of a mosquito infected with one of four dengue viruses, the World Health Organization says.
Symptoms, which appear three to 14 days after the bite, can include mild to high fever, severe headache, pain behind the eyes, muscle and joint pain and a rash, the WHO says.
Dengue haemorrhagic fever is a potentially fatal complication that affects mainly children, the WHO says. Symptoms include fever, abdominal pain, vomiting and bleeding.
The disease cannot be transmitted directly from one person to another.
Dr Nguyen Minh Tuan attributes the increase in cases in HCM City in part to population growth. Mosquitoes that carry dengue typically breed in areas near humans.
This is a disease that occurs where there's lots of population, he said.
He said mosquitoes carrying dengue viruses breed in exposed water, including places as shallow as jars, discarded bottles and plant saucers.
Babies are particularly vulnerable to dengue fever. If they show any of the symptoms, parents need to rush them to the hospital immediately.