July 8, 2008
Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City, Mekong Delta in Grip of Dengue Fever Outbreak
Text of report in English by Vietnamese newspaper Thanh Nien on 7 July
[Unattributed report "Dengue Fever Plagues HCMC and Mekong Delta"]
Ho Chi Minh City and the Mekong Delta are in the grip of a dengue fever outbreak, with many hospitals overloaded with cases.
HCMC Preventative Health Department Deputy Director Nguyen Dac Tho said about 4,000 cases of dengue fever had been reported in the city in the first six months of the year, with about 100 new cases recorded every week.
Thu Duc District has reported the highest number of dengue fever cases, followed by districts 7, 8 and Tan Phu, Tho said.
Dang Hai Dang, deputy director of Ca Mau Province's Preventive Health Department, said the number of patients struck down with dengue fever in his province over the past month was nearly double the number reported in the first five months of this year.
Tran Van Thoi District has been hardest hit, with 600 cases reported so far this year, followed by the U Minh and Thoi Binh districts and Ca Mau Town, he said.
At the Children's Emergency Department of Ca Mau General Hospital, two or three patients share each bed.
The tropical disease, transmitted by the Aedes mosquito, has claimed four lives in Ca Mau Province this year.
Soc Trang Province has the highest number of cases, with more than 1,900 cases reported so far this year.
The provincial hospital's children department often struggles to cope with the influx of Dengue patients.
In Tien Giang Province, more than 1,400 cases of the disease have been reported this year.
One death, a seven-year-old boy, was also reported.
Between 300 and 700 cases each of Dengue fever have been reported in the Mekong Delta provinces of Dong Thap, Bac Lieu, Kien Giang and Ben Tre.
Ho Chi Minh City's Pasteur Institute has run prevention and treatment training courses for health officials from Soc Trang, Ca Mau, Bac Lieu and Hau Giang provinces.
Ca Mau's health agency staff have been touring the province to advise residents on how to prevent the disease.
The health departments of Soc Trang, Dong Thap, Kien Giang and HCMC have launched mosquito eradication programmes.
Originally published by Thanh Nien, Ho Chi Minh City, in English 7 Jul 08.
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