Ministry calls for drastic measures to control dengue fever

Dengue fever infections could spike nationwide unless drastic measures to control the disease are taken, the Ministry of Health has warned.

ministry calls for drastic measures to control dengue fever hinh 0
Health workers spray chemical to kill mosquitoes in Binh Thuan.

According to the ministry, since the beginning of this year, dengue fever has been reported in almost all localities in Vietnam.

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, HCM City and Hanoi, reported new dengue cases weekly.

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

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

According to the city’s Health Department, the number of dengue cases of this year is fewer than that in the same period last year but in the last few weeks, the number has been increasing.

The central province of Ha Tinh on July 6 announced the first outbreak of dengue fever appeared in the province this year.

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

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

Thanh said that as soon as the outbreak was detected, local authorities cleaned the environment and sprayed chemicals to kill mosquitoes and local 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.

Doctor Pham Trung Cap, head of the Emergency Department at the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases, 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 stomachache, 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.

According to the Health Ministry, on average, Vietnam reports more than 100,000 dengue cases annually. However, last year the number hit 320,331 cases, the highest figure in the last 32 years, with 53 deaths.