Vietnamese health officials reported on August 18 that the country is fighting new outbreaks of dengue fever. More than 10,000 new cases were reported over the past week, representing a 42 percent increase in cases in the same period last year. Officials report that at least 90,626 cases have been recorded across the country, representing a year-on-year rise of nearly 68 percent, including 24 confirmed deaths. Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi are reportedly the hardest hit by the recent outbreak. The Ministry of Health has ordered increased chemical spraying in hospitals, schools, and construction sites to kill mosquito larvae. Health officials are also taking additional steps to train health workers on treating the disease.
Health officials believe the increase in dengue fever cases is due to the early onset of the rainy season, creating favorable breeding conditions for mosquitos.
Symptoms of classic dengue fever include fever, headache, muscle and joint pain, fatigue, nausea, and rash. Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF) is a potentially deadly complication that is characterized by high fever, enlargement of the liver, and hemorrhaging.
Individuals are advised to take measures to protect themselves from mosquito bites (e.g., by wearing covering clothing, using insect repellent, and sleeping in a screened-in or air-conditioned room) and to eliminate possible mosquito breeding grounds (small pockets of fresh water, such as rain water that has collected in cans, bottles, tires, flower pots, clogged gutters, etc.).