Dengue fever, a mosquito-borne illness, has been spreading at a rapid pace across Vietnam, particularly in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
About 1,700 to 1,800 new cases of dengue fever are recorded every week in the Southeast Asian country.
The Hanoi Department of Health convened a meeting with district-level leaders on Wednesday morning to discuss measures to cope with the alarming situation.
The number of patients in the northern city has exceeded 2,000 since the beginning of this year, a four-fold hike compared to same period last year.
According to Hoang Duc Hanh, deputy director of the health department, populated districts in the inner city have a higher number of reported cases of dengue fever.
While dengue outbreaks happen on a yearly basis, they typically begin in September. This year’s, however, began in May, Hanh said, adding that a 19-year-old girl had been killed by the disease.
Although nearly 70 percent of the country’s dengue fever patients are situated in southern regions, the sickness has been rising rapidly in northern Vietnam, especially in Hanoi, over the past six months, Tran Dac Phu, head of the General Department of Preventive Medicine, assessed.
In Ho Chi Minh City, the number of patients in June increased by 40 percent compared to last month and two-fold year-on-year.
Nguyen Thanh Dung, deputy director of the Ho Chi Minh City Hospital for Tropical Diseases, said that 139 people were admitted to the infirmary with dengue fever on Tuesday alone.
The number of adults affected by the disease has been on the rise, Dung added.
The mosquito-borne disease has become more serious in southern localities with rapid industrialization, namely Ho Chi Minh City, Binh Duong Province, and Ba Ria- Vung Tau Province, said Phan Trong Lan, head of the Pasteur Institute.
Provinces in the Mekong Delta including Tra Vinh, Vinh Long, Ca Mau, Hau Giang, and others have also recorded a hike in dengue fever, although the rainy season has only just begun.
In Can Tho city, 530 cases had been reported by June 19, a year-on-year rise of 158 cases.
Meanwhile, doctors in Soc Trang Province warned that the epidemic could continue to worsen over the coming weeks.