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Vietnam grappling with dengue fever epidemic in highland provinces

Vietnam grappling with dengue fever epidemic in highland provinces

Monday, August 08, 2016, 15:00 GMT+7

Authorities in Vietnam have been trying to cope with a dengue fever epidemic that had broken out in the Central Highlands.

Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam and officials from the Ministry of Health convened a meeting with leaders of some Central Highlands provinces on Sunday to address the situation.

According to the General Department of Preventive Medicine, nearly 50,000 cases of the mosquito-borne disease have been recorded across 48 Vietnamese localities this year, of which 17 have resulted in death.

The number of victims in the Central Highlands is estimated at 7,500 and the region has the fastest and most concerning increase in the country, it added.

Tran Dac Phu, head of the agency, said that serious outbreaks of dengue fever occur in the region every four years.

“The disease has spread at a very fast pace as residents in many villages often store water in used tires, plastic bowls, and other tools without proper covers, providing a perfect environment for mosquitoes to grow,” Phu elaborated.

Kon Tum Province currently has the highest probability of residents being infected with nearly 1,700 patients out of a population of 100,000 citizens, said Dao Duy Khanh, director of the provincial Department of Health.

Over 3,000 cases have been recorded in Gia Lai Province, including fatalities, Huynh Nu Thu Ha, vice-chairwoman of the provincial People’s Committee, stated, adding that the rainy season is the primary cause of the epidemic.

Local residents are not fully aware of how to prevent the sickness, while many often stay on their farms, making it difficult for officials to warn them of the situation, Ha continued.

Dak Lak Province is also among the country’s top 10 localitions with the highest number of victims at 1,800 cases.

It is expected that the infestation will be mitigated in November, according to the General Department of Preventive Medicine.

According to the Ministry of Health, information plays a crucial role in alleviating the epidemic.

“Preventive measures have to be conveyed in a simple and specific manner so that locals can understand and follow,” Deputy Prime Minister Dam asserted.

Phu backed his opinion by stating that residents must acknowledge how the disease is spread and what conditions are favorable for mosquitoes.

“Mosquitoes carrying the dengue virus often proliferate in such environments as water containers or rainwater stored in vases and old tires,” the official said.

He confirmed that the source of the illness must be eliminated in order to end the epidemic.

The government has provided an upfront VND2 billion (US$89,680) for the provinces to cope with the current situation while further financial support will be offered to eradicate the disease.

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Tuoi Tre News


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