Vietnam tells hospitals to prepare as dengue fever cases surge

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FILE PHOTO: Wolbachia-Aedes aegypti mosquitoes mate, at the National Environmental Agency's mosquito production facility in Singapore

HANOI – Dengue fever cases in Vietnam so far this year have more than doubled compared to the same period in 2021, the health ministry said on Thursday, warning its hospitals to brace for more infections.

Dengue is a mosquito-borne disease common in Southeast Asia that causes flu-like symptoms and no vaccine is available. Severe forms of it can result in internal bleeding.

Vietnam recorded 89,120 dengue cases in the first six months, up from 35,936 a year earlier, an increase of 148%. Deaths tripled to 34 over the same period.

The country of 98 million people has typically recorded about 110,000 cases annually in recent years, with infections peaking usually between June and October.

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“The number of cases is forecast to continue to rise further, with more severe cases to be hospitalised,” said the ministry, which issued special guidelines to healthcare providers this week.

“All hospitals at provincial and district levels need to focus their resources to admit and treat severe cases.”

(Reporting by Khanh Vu; Editing by Martin Petty)