HCM City authorities wary of dengue, Zika as rains begin hinh anh 1A doctor examines a dengue patient at the HCM City Hospital for Tropical Diseases. (Photo: VNA)
HCM City (VNA) - The HCM City People’s Committee has instructed district leaders to monitor preventive action taken against dengue fever and Zika as the southern region enters the rainy season.

It said relevant agencies should organise campaigns and encourage locals to destroy mosquitoes and larvae by clearing wastes in which water could collect to prevent the spread of the diseases.

It instructed the city Department of Health to follow the Ministry of Health’s directions to closely monitor the spread of the diseases.

The department should also ensure there are enough drugs and other medical supplies for effective prevention of the diseases since the city is seeing outbreaks, it said.

It has been ordered to regularly report on the situation to the People’s Committee and ministry.

It has also been ordered to collaborate with the city Department of Information and Communication to strengthen public communication about preventive methods to improve awareness and prevent the spread of inaccurate information to avoid panic.

According to the city Preventive Health Centre, there have been 233 cases of dengue in the last two weeks, 6.9 percent higher than in the previous four weeks.

This year there have been a total of 7,779 cases, almost unchanged from last year.

The HCM City Hospital for Tropical Diseases has been admitting 20 dengue patients every day since late last month.

Dr Nguyen Thanh Phong, head of the hospital’s infectious diseases department D, said the number of patients is increasing with the rains.

Of the patients, several have been infected a second or third time because their awareness of preventive methods is not high, he said.

He explained that there are four common types of dengue strains, and getting infected with one is no guarantee against contracting another kind.

A second infection is more serious than the first, he said.

A patient from District 8 who is being treated at the hospital said it was his second dengue infection.

He lives in a house on the edge of the Doi Canal, a place filled with mosquitoes.

Since he had contracted dengue once earlier he thought he was immune and ignored preventive methods, he said.

More dengue cases

According to the Dong Nai province Preventive Health Centre, there have been 1,365 dengue cases this year.

Nhon Trach district has reported the largest number, 441, or 32.3 percent of the cases reported.

The number is up by 77 percent from the same period last year.

Most of cases have been in the communes of Long Tho, Phuoc Thien and Hiep Phuoc, which are mostly home to migrant workers. They live in dank rented rooms without standard drainage systems and surrounded by rubbish.

The centre’s officials have sprayed chemicals two times so far this year to destroy mosquitoes.

The centre has urged district health officials to spread awareness of preventive methods.-VNA