Dengue fever inspection teams to be set up hinh anh 1A medical worker provides information on dengue fever (Photo: VNA)

The Ministry of Health will set up five inspection teams to monitor dengue fever conditions throughout the country because of the complicated situation caused by dengue outbreaks.

That information was released by Tran Dac Phu, Director of General Department of Preventive Medicine under the Ministry of Health on August 14. Dengue fever outbreaks could continue until the end of the rainy season in October, Phu noted.

As many as 12 people have died of dengue fever, out of more than 19,700 cases that have been reported in the country since the beginning of 2015. Hanoi, HCM City and many southern provinces, including Dong Nai, Soc Trang and Dong Thap, saw a sharp rise in the number of cases, compared to the same period in 2014, according to a report issued by the Ministry of Health.

Sixty-six people who contracted dengue fever have been hospitalised in the first half of August, while the number of hospitalised cases in July was 93, said Head of the Virus and Parasite Department Nguyen Tien Lam at the Central Hospital for Tropical Diseases.

"Most of the patients were hospitalised late because they thought they had suffered from viral fevers, instead of dengue fever. It not only made their conditions more serious, but also prolonged their treatment times", Lam said.

"The disease could be misdiagnosed as typhus, a viral infection or sore throat. Therefore, people with high fevers should be hospitalised to receive medical advice, rather than be treated at home", Lam added.

Hanoi has recorded nearly 700 cases of dengue fever in the last seven months. Most of the cases were adults, while the number of children under 15 suffering from the fever only accounted for 13 percent. Hoang Mai, Hai Ba Trung, Ha Dong, and Thanh Tri were the hardest hit districts, according to Hanoi's Department of Health.

"The number of dengue cases in Hanoi has increased over the same period in 2014. The cases usually occur during the rainy season, when hot and humid weather allows for breeding of virus-bearing mosquito populations, which leads to the spread of the disease", said Director of the Hanoi Centre for Preventive Medicine Nguyen Nhat Cam.

"The number of dengue cases in Hanoi in 2015 may rise higher than that of 2014, as this year begins the new cycle following the last one in 2009 – the year of significant dengue outbreaks in Hanoi", Cam said.

In order to prevent a further rise in dengue fever cases, localities and relevant offices need to raise public awareness about dengue fever, as well as about prevention measures, which include quickly detecting infected or suspected cases in both health facilities and the community, and launching environmental sanitation campaigns by spraying mosquito repellents to kill mosquitoes, Phu said.-VNA