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Child respiratory diseases surge in Saigon during stormy season

Thursday, October 22, 2020, 11:24 GMT+7
Child respiratory diseases surge in Saigon during stormy season
Women queue with their children while waiting to see a doctor at the respiratory medicine department of Children’s Hospital 1 in District 10, Ho Chi Minh City, October 19, 2020. Photo: Thuy Duong / Tuoi Tre

The number of pediatric patients catching respiratory diseases and treated at two major children’s hospitals in Ho Chi Minh City is at an all-time high, likely due to stormy weather, according to doctors.

Dr. Tran Anh Tuan, head of the respiratory medicine department of Children’s Hospital 1 in District 10, said that more than 400 children are being treated in his ward, triple its bed-capacity. 

The hospital currently has three to four children on a single bed.

The majority of the pediatric patients at the hospital are suffering from bronchiolitis pneumonia, asthma, rhinitis, and otitis media. 

Seventy percent of the children inpatients are under 12 months old.

Children’s Hospital 2 in District 1 is facing a similar situation, according to Dr. Huynh Minh Thu, head of the hospital’s general planning department, although it has yet to reach the peak of the respiratory diseases season, which often takes place between August and November in Ho Chi Minh City.

According to Dr. Thu, the torrential rains that have been lashing southern Vietnam since the beginning of October are likely causing the pathogens, viruses, and bacteria to develop.

Children that do not adapt in time to the changes in weather are more vulnerable to infection.

Dr. Tuan advised that parents take children to hospitals immediately if they show signs of increased sleep, refusing breastfeeding or limiting bottle feeding, vomiting, and convulsion.

Some symptoms, such as cyanosis, need immediate medical attention.

In addition, children who show difficulty breathing or rapid breathing, or have coughs that last more than seven days, should be brought to a doctor for prompt treatment.

Certain symptoms such as fevers of over 39 degrees Celsius that last for more two days may not indicate respiratory diseases, but rather are more likely to be dengue fever and viral, Anh added.

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