Ben Tre (VNA) – There is a risk of widespread dengue fever outbreak in Vietnam in the time ahead if no prompt actions are taken, said Dr. Phan Trong Lan, head of the Ho Chi Minh City-based Pasteur Institute.
Lan told a communication training course in the Mekong Delta province of Ben Tre on August 18-19 that this year’s rainy season comes earlier than the previous years in the Central Highlands.
Meanwhile, droves of disease-carrying mosquitoes have yet to be completely destroyed, resulting in a dengue fever outbreak in the region, he said.
He added that the disease often reaches its peak between September and November. The southern provinces of Binh Phuoc and Ben Tre, and Lam Dong province in the Central Highlands are “hot spots” of dengue fever this year.
Ben Tre province alone has recorded more than 1,400 dengue cases so far this year, including one death, representing a three-fold increase against the same period last year.
The numbers of dengue cases and deaths in Vietnam have dropped since 1985, the Dr. said, forecasting that the disease will reach a ten-year peak in 2018 when a new cycle of dengue fever begins.
He suggested localities tightly cover water containers to hinder mosquitoes from laying eggs and spray mosquito repellent, while raising public awareness of dengue fever by integrating disease prevention activities into new-style rural area building programmes and school curriculums.
The HCM City-based Pasteur Institute is studying a vaccine against dengue fever, which is expected to be used in Vietnam in September 2017.
Statistics from the Health Ministry’s General Department of Preventive Medicine showed that the number of people that contracted dengue fever in the first six months of this year reached over 44,800, more than 2.5 times higher than the same period last year.-VNA
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