More dengue fever likely as rain continues

Experts are warning against an outbreak of dengue fever and hand-foot-mouth disease as wet weather continues.

Although the number of dengue-fever cases has continued to fall in the last eight weeks, Hanoi is still struggling to fully contain the disease, Hoang Duc Hanh, Deputy Director of the Hanoi Department of Health, said at an online meeting held by the Hanoi People’s Committee this week.

Meanwhile, southern and central provinces are entering the peak season for dengue fever as extreme weather events create favorable conditions for mosquitoes.

“We have to continue reinforcing solutions in the next six weeks to prevent a second outbreak,” said Nguyen Nhat Cam, Director of the Hanoi Preventive Health Centre.

In Hanoi from October 2 to 8, 1,068 patients were recorded, 160 fewer than the previous week and 2,501 fewer than the peak week in August.

Officials leading prevention efforts have encountered several challenges. In Ha Dong district, larvae has been found in several homes, construction works and public places. Medical staff cannot spray the entire area due to a shortage of staff.  

According to Cam, the  Ministry of Health (MoH) evaluated the outbreak two weeks ago and estimated the disease would be under control by November if prevention measures were done well.

According to the MoH, Vietnam has had more than 70,000 cases of hand-foot-mouth since the beginning of the year. In Hanoi, 450 patients were infected with the disease.

The ministry has urgently asked provinces to implement prevention solutions.

Hand-foot-mouth disease is a viral infection that commonly occurs in children under the age of 10. Although it usually resolves on its own after seven to 10 days, it can lead to encephalitis, myocarditis, pulmonary oedema or even death.

The ministry has recommended people practise proper hand-washing hygiene, clean shared utensils, disinfect contaminated surfaces and avoiding direct contact with infected individuals.

If children display signs and symptoms of hand-foot-mouth disease, including fever, nausea or skin lesions, parents should take them to the nearest medical facility for diagnosis and treatment.

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