A child with dengue fever being treated in a HCM City hospital. November is the city’s peak season for the disease. (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNS/VNA) - The number of dengue fever cases in Ho Chi Minh City shot up by 125 percent in October compared to a year earlier and could rise further this month, the peak season, the Preventive Health Centre has warned.

Data showed that the city's hospitals admitted 4,390 people with the disease last month.

Dr Le Hong Nga, head of the centre’s contagious diseases control division, said dengue has occurred in all 24 districts, especially outlying ones which are urbanising now and have many construction works in progress.

She was speaking at a programme organised by Sai Gon Giai Phong (Liberated Sai Gon) newspaper on November 9 in which doctors provided counselling to its readers.

Besides, the outlying districts are crowded with migrant workers and environment hygiene there is poor, she said.

People here have habits such as storing water in containers, which are also conducive for the spread of the disease, she said.  

Also reporting on the disease, the HCM City Hospital for Tropical Diseases said the number of patients with dengue fever last month, 1,581, was 1.4 times the number in September.

The Thu Duc District Regional General Hospital has treated 351 people with dengue since October 15, 2.3 times the number month-on-month.

Of them, 70 percent were more than 18 years old, a clear indication that, unlike in the past, when the disease mostly affected children, now adults too are susceptible.

The local Preventive Health Centre said Thu Duc is one of eight districts considered hot spots and having the highest number of dengue cases in the city.

So far this year the district has had 1,006 cases, 30 percent up higher than in the same period last year.

The disease often breaks out in wards with a high population density near industrial parks, universities and tardy construction works like Linh Trung, Binh Chieu and Hiep Binh Phuoc.

Nga said every single family should take the initiative to keep out mosquitoes and kill larvae.

The city’s Department of Health is determining high-risk areas for the disease and keeping them under surveillance.     

Dr Nguyen Huu Hung, the department’s deputy head, said authorities in several districts have yet to fine people and organisations’ in whose properties they find mosquito larvae, and this exacerbates the outbreak risk.

As of last month, authorities around the city had slapped fines in 206 cases.

The HCM City Hospital for Tropical Diseases and many other medical facilities are allowing dengue patients to be treated at home to avoid overcrowding.

Nga warned that these patients should take proper preventive methods to ensure they do not transmit the disease to other people in their house.-VNS/VNA