Hand-foot-mouth disease in a child patient. (Source: impatientoptimists.org)

Binh Thuan (VNA) – Central provinces have been urged to prioritise disease prevention work during the flood season which has just set in.

At a conference held in Binh Thuan province on August 26 on disease prevention and immunization work, Dr. Vien Quang Mai, Head of the Nha Trang Pasteur Institute, recommended 11 provinces and cities in the central region to enhance the monitoring of diseases for prompt response, step up measures on sanitation and environment, and boost communications campaigns to raise people’s awareness on disease prevention.

Mai said the Japanese encephalitis (JE) has been reported in Da Nang City and Quang Ngai and Khanh Hoa Provinces, thus localities in the region should continue vaccination against the disease.

According to the institute, the hand-foot-mouth disease is expected to increase towards the end of the year, especially in November and December. The unusual weather change due to El Nino and climate change impacts, coupled with local people’s habit of storing water will also create favourable conditions for the spread of dengue fever.

Besides that, a number of diseases like whooping-cough, diphtheria are returning to areas where prevention measures and vaccination are not taken properly.

It was also reported at the conference that in the first six months of the year, 21 out of 28 infectious diseases have been decreased in the region in comparison with 2015.

Thanks to the expanded immunisation campaign, the number of measles and rubella cases dropped to only seven in the period compared to 17 last year.

However, dengue fever was spreading rapidly with 14,153 cases reported so far this year, a five-fold increase from last year.

The regional also saw three infections of Zika virus.-VNA