According to the Tienphong online newspaper, the Ministry of Health reported there have been an estimated 45,000 registered cases nationwide, including 13 deaths in the first half of 2017.
In the capital city of Hanoi, the number of registered cases has increased 5-fold from a year ago to 3,200 in the first six months of the year.
But some officials reject the idea that the actual number of cases is much higher than in previous years, and instead say the figures just proves the city is conducting more tests and monitoring the disease better.
Many infections in the past have gone unreported every year because some people with dengue fever don’t seek medical treatment, while many others visit doctors who don’t report the cases.
Meanwhile, the National Hospital of Tropical Diseases in Hanoi reports it is overloaded and running out of beds, receiving as many as 100 new patients infected with the disease daily.
In Ho Chi Minh City there were 9,100 registered cases with four deaths reported in the first half of the year, according to Dr Phan Trong Lan, head of the Pasteur Institute.
If city officials can get things cleaned up and implement anti-mosquito, anti-larval measures quickly, then dengue can be contained, said Dr Lan.
Dengue leaves its victims exhausted and in great pain, though it is rarely fatal, claiming less than 1% of those infected. There is no cure; patients need rest and to be monitored and treated for symptoms, including high fever, dehydration, skin rash, exhaustion and a low blood platelet count.
It is not rocket science, said Dr Lan. We know what we must do, but what happens in Vietnam sometimes is that the public health measures are not timely both in terms of quantity and quality.