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25 Oct 2008

Dengue continues skyrocketing in HCMC [Vietnam latest news - Thanh Nien Daily]

Dengue continues skyrocketing in HCMC

Cases of dengue fever have surged over the last year and health officials say the dreaded disease is now showing greater complications. Dengue fever in Ho Chi Minh City has increased dramatically this year with more than 10,000 cases and five deaths reported so far, according to the HCMC Preventive Health Center.

Now, 242 out of around 320 wards and communes in the city have reported outbreaks of the disease.

Nguyen Tran Chinh, director of the HCMC Hospital for Tropical Diseases said last month they admitted 1,000 adults and 532 children with dengue – nearly a 300 percent increase compared to the previous year.

This month, 1,164 more patients have been hospitalized while last October, 716 were admitted.

More than 100 in-patients were undergoing treatment at the hospital on Wednesday night.

Dr. Nguyen Thi Kim Loan of the hospital’s Pediatrician Department A said 42 children were currently being treated for dengue and seven to eight of them were in danger of going into shock.

Since the department has just 38 beds, two to three patients have to share a single bed while some even have to sleep on the floor or along corridors when the department is overcrowded.

“Sometimes it looks like a refugee camp,” Loan said.

The hospital’s Pediatrician Department B specializes in treating patients with blood poisoning (septicemia), but has now had to admit dengue fever patients as the dengue department is overloaded, said nurse Le My Tien.

Tran Thi Thuy, deputy head of Children Hospital No. 2’s Infectious Disease Department, said on Thursday that since the end of November 2007, they have admitted 718 children, a 20 percent year-on-year increase.

Eighty percent of patients were from HCMC, mainly District 2 and the suburban districts of Thu Duc, Go Vap and Binh Thanh.

The department admits between 30 and 60 patients per day, Thuy said. Each day there are between 100 and 130 in-patients, of which 10-12 percent are in critical condition.

On Wednesday, 15 children with dengue were listed in critical conditional the hospital. Some also had to share beds.

Dr. Phan Tu Quy of the Hospital for Tropical Diseases’ Pediatric Recuperation Department said within the first three weeks of this month they admitted 50 children suffering shock due to dengue.

Last month the department admitted 86 similar cases.

More complications
The signs and symptoms of dengue fever patients are also showing more complications than before, according to doctors.

More patients are listed in critical condition and are suffering longer bouts of fever – up to 10 days in some cases. Bloody diarrhea, loss of consciousness, respiratory failure, and problems with the liver, kidneys and brain are other symptoms cropping up in greater numbers than before.

Lam Thi My, deputy head of Children Hospital No. 1’s Dengue Fever Department, said numbers of dengue patients had never been so high at this time of the year before. Recently, babies less than three months old have also been coming in with dengue fever, said My.

According to the HCMC Preventive Health Center, efforts to curb the disease from June to August have been largely ineffective.

Until September 25, 2008, more than 56,100 cases of dengue fever and 52 deaths had been reported nationwide, the Ministry of Health reported.

While the number of cases nationally has decreased by 22 percent and deaths have decreased by 15 percent year-on-year, 13 provinces and cities have suffered from greater outbreaks than in previous years.

The southern provinces of Ca Mau and Binh Phuoc and the central province of Nghe An are among the localities with the highest rates, including deaths.

Nguyen Thi Thu Ha, vice chairwoman of the HCMC People’s Committee, has ordered local agencies to take better measures to reduce the incidence of dengue.

Other epidemics
This month, epidemics of other diseases have also seen an increase nationwide, said Nguyen Huy Nga, head of the Administration of Preventive Medicine and Environment on Thursday.

Acute diarrhea and cholera have hit the central provinces of Nghe An and Thanh Hoa, increasing the number of affected individuals to 4,667 this year, of which nearly 800 were cholera cases.

Fatal encephalitis and meningitis caused by food poisoning, meanwhile, are also on the increase.In the north, the number of children hospitalized with other diseases has also skyrocketed, Nga said.

The Vietnam National Hospital of Pediatrics sees nearly 1,500 children per day. Two-thirds are diagnosed with viral fever, pneumonia or respiratory inflammation.

Source: TT, SGGP
Vietnam latest news - Thanh Nien Daily
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