[health-vn] HCMC sees early rise in dengue fever cases
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Mon May 25 02:43:03 EST 2009
Last Updated: Saturday, May 23, 2009 23:23:41 Vietnam (GMT+07)
HCMC sees early rise in dengue fever cases
Children with dengue fever with their carers in the corridor at Children’s
Hospital No. 1 in HCMC. A dengue fever room at Children’s Hospital No. 1 in Ho
Chi Minh City has seven sickbeds.
They were holding 28 children on Thursday. The number sometimes reached 30.
Early onset of the monsoon has seen a usual spurt in the disease brought forward
by more than a month and caught people unprepared.
Doctors have warned that mosquito-born dengue fever cases in the city would be
more severe this year.
The Children’s Hospital No. 1 has had between 66 and 84 child inpatients every
day since early this month, more than twice the normal count.
The grandmother of one patient from outlying Binh Chanh District said her
grandchild was lucky as some children have to lie on the ward’s floor and some
others in the corridor.
“Children are lying all over the floor and there’s no space to walk,” she said.
Among 15-20 children are admitted to the hospital every day with dengue fever,
half come from nearby provinces.
A boy and his father from Dong Nai Province have been out in the hospital
corridor for many days.
The 32-year-old father said he only brought his son into the room when doctors
wanted to examine him or give him medicine.
Le Bich Lien, head of the dengue fever ward at the hospital, said, “Many doctors
and parents are still unprepared and overlook dengue fever thinking it’s not the
The Children’s Hospital No. 2 and the Hospital for Tropical Diseases in the city
have also started to receive more dengue fever patients than normal.
Every day, more than 30 children are being treated for dengue fever at the
Children’s Hospital No. 2 while the Hospital for Tropical Diseases is admitting
Dengue fever causes the same symptoms as flu and other kinds of fever in the
first three days, Lien said, advising parents to watch carefully to recognize
when their children develop critical conditions such as hemorrhage, vomiting-or
Eighty-five percent of the severe cases admitted to Children’s Hospital No. 1
were children on day four or five of the disease when the fever had gone but the
disease had turned severe.
Lien said parents should only feel safe after their children overcome the
Doctors also warned parents that mosquitoes that caused dengue fever usually
sting during daytime.
HCMC has topped the list nationwide with more than 3,600 dengue fever cases so
far this year, said Nguyen Huy Nga, head of the Preventive Health and
Environment Department under the Health Ministry.
The country’s total has reached more than 16,600, up 20 percent year on year.
Nga said local governments play an important role in fighting the disease.
The disease is growing faster in Kien Giang and Soc Trang provinces of the
Mekong Delta, with more than 1,100 patients in each province.
Climate change, according to Nga, has caused the early onset of the rainy season
and also increased the amount of rainfall, resulting in an increase in number of
dengue fever cases and the severity of the disease in Singapore and Indonesia as
Dengue fever has been included in Vietnam’s national program to fight the spread
of dangerous infectious diseases like AIDS and tuberculosis.
The government has reserved VND70 billion (US$3.9 million) for the fight, Nga
said, “But localities have already borrowed VND30 billion for other purposes and
there’s only VND40 billion left for spraying, educating locals on preventive
measures and clean up operations in fever prone areas.
Source: Tuoi Tre\
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