Since the beginning of the year, as many as 130,000 cases of dengue fever have been reported across the country, resulting in 15 deaths. This figure has spiked in recent weeks with between 5,000 and 10,000 new cases being reported weekly.
In comparison to the same period last year, the number of dengue fever cases has seen a three-fold increase, with central, central highlands, and southern provinces being the hardest hit.
Assoc Prof. Dr. Hoang Duc Hanh, deputy director of the Hanoi Department of Health, said although the number of dengue fever cases in Hanoi has declined and no fatalities have occurred compared to the 2014-2018 period, the epidemic is predicted to increase in the near future.
Indeed, the capital city has seen 2,098 cases of dengue fever since the beginning of the year.
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Nhat Cam, director of the Hanoi Centre for Disease Control, has pointed to a number of causes which have led to the spread of the epidemic, including an influx of migrants from rural areas, rapid urbanisation, hot weather and rain, an increasing number of construction sites, and poor sanitation in place in temporary housing for labourers.
In addition, residents in several districts around the northern metropolis, namely Thuong Tin and Dong Anh, have failed to take drastic measures to combat the epidemic with the eradication of mosquito larva not being thoroughly tackled.
With regard to preventive measures to fight the epidemic, Tran Dac Phu, head of the Department of Preventive Medicine, noted that the dengue fever is a viral disease which is transmitted through the bite of an Aedes aegypti mosquito. This bites usually take place during the daytime.
As Aedes aegypti mosquitoes develop quicker during the rainy seasons, residents have been urged to collect waste and cover water containers in an attempt to prevent further outbreaks of mosquito larva.
Assoc.Prof. Dr Hoang Duc Hanh emphasized that relevant agencies at the grassroots level have been advised to focus on spreading information on preventive measures to local residents.
Steps include eliminating waste, covering water containers, spraying mosquito repellents, encouraging residents to learn about the symptoms of dengue, and to avoid buying drugs as a way of treating the virus themselves.
Dr Nguyen Khac Hien, director of Hanoi Department of Health, has requested that relevant units devise concrete plans to be put in place for each scenario, prepare spraying machines and sufficient chemicals, in addition to strictly monitoring high risk areas to prevent the spread of the disease.