Director of the Preventive Medicine Department under the Ministry of Health Tran Dac Phu said Vietnam has recorded an annual average of 50,000-100,000 dengue fever cases in recent years, with 50-100 fatalities.
In the first seven months of 2017, the country reported 58,888 cases. Of which, 50,496 were hospitalised, up 12.6 percent compared to the same period of 2016 and 17 deaths, up from 14.
At present, 61 cities and provinces have recorded dengue infections, mostly in Hanoi, Thanh Hoa, Quang Nam, Binh Duong, Tra Vinh and Tay Ninh, he said.
Given the situation, the health ministry has sent seven inspection teams to hotspots, launched campaigns to kill mosquito larva and opened treatment training courses for health workers, he added.
Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Kim Tien suggested increasing vigilance over diseases, including dengue fever, during and after the flood season.
The main priority now is raising public awareness of dengue prevention and keeping the living environment clean, she said.
Dengue fever is transmitted by mosquitoes carrying the virus. Its symptoms include high fever, headaches and joint aches, which can be confused with symptoms of other diseases.
The disease has potentially dangerous complications such as shock, respiratory failure, coagulation, liver damage and altered mental status, and can be fatal.
According to the World Health Organisation, dengue is spreading in many countries worldwide. Each year, worldwide, about 20 million people contract dengue and some 500,000 are hospitalised.