Dengue fever is on the rise in the central and northern localities, reports the Ministry of Health.

In Da Nang , about 600 people have been stricken with the mosquito-borne disease so far this year, 10 times higher than for the first three months of last year.

Almost 100 incidents of the disease have been reported in Hanoi with one fatality in Tan Minh commune, Soc Son district, said the Preventive Health Centre’s Disease Control Department director, Le Duc Tuyen.

The centre is planning to prevent any spread of the disease in communes, clinics and schools through a clean up of the environment, and raising public awareness about the threat, the director said.

But the Health Ministry’s Preventive Health and Environment Department said that although 7,300 incidents of dengue fever were confirmed throughout Vietnam to March, the figure was 28 percent less than the same period last year.

At least three of those infected have died.

Clinical symptoms of the disease have changed and patients need to have their blood tested to confirm infection, explained Da Nang Preventive Health Centre director Ton That Thanh.

The national target programme for the prevention of dengue fever from 2006-10 has been relaunched this year, said the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology’s Insect and Animal Department head, Tran Vu Phong.

Its focus will be to improve the skills of all medical workers.

Stagnant water enables the mosquitoes to reproduce and develop and is a major reason for the spread of the disease. People are encouraged to clean around their dwellings and spray mosquito killer./.