Dengue Fever Outbreak Shows No Signs of Easing in Vietnam


We’ve been overwhelmed with news about dengue fever outbreaks in Vietnam, and many have probably wondered, how bad is it now?

The Vietnamese health ministry said on August 25 that the dengue fever epidemic is showing no signs of easing as the number of admitted patients has increased 48 percent from the same period last year, and nine more people have died than the year before. A total of 100,417 people have been infected, of whom 84,026 have been hospitalized; 26 have succumbed to the disease.

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In Hanoi, authorities said the epidemic is at its peak now after infected cases were initially reported in May; numbers skyrocketed in July and are forecasted to last until November.

According to the Hanoi Preventive Health Centre, 85 percent of dengue fever cases in Hanoi are people aged 15 and older. Around half of dengue fever cases are students and migrant workers who became infected with the virus in their hometowns and spread the virus when they came back to Hanoi.

Hanoi is planning to spray chemicals, designed to combat the proliferation of mosquitoes, at all schools before the new school year.

Ineffective Chemicals?

On August 25, the Ministry of Health also denied the rumours spreading among Hanoi residents that the chemicals used in this year’s dengue fever fight are not effective, as mosquitoes have appeared just one to two hours after the chemical was sprayed.

Mr. Tran Thanh Duong, a representative of the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, said the main chemical used is deltamethrin, which is among the most popular and widely used insecticides in the world.

The chemical has been put into use to kill mosquitoes since April 27, 2016, and the results were quite good, he said.

Experiments at two Hanoi wards between June 20 and July 1 showed 97.8 percent of mosquitoes died after the chemical was sprayed, according to Mr. Duong.

Duong explained that the mosquitoes, which appeared after the chemical was sprayed, are hatching from larvae that survived in households before the spray was administered, and those larvae need several days to hatch into mosquitoes.

“So the chemical spray just kills the mosquitoes, while the root of the problem is how to destroy the larvae,” he said.

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Health inspectors came to a Hanoi on August 20 and found larvae in hard-to-spot household places such as plant pots and drip trays in refrigerators.

In suburban areas, larvae were mostly found in unclean water tanks and uncovered buckets in outdoor restrooms.

How To Kill Mosquito Larvae

Female mosquitoes lay their eggs in stagnant water, which is why getting rid of any standing water near your house is one of the most basic steps you can take to keep mosquitoes away.

The good news is that this larvae phase is the easiest time to get rid of mosquitoes. But you have to act fast — mosquitoes only spend their first 10 days in water. Once they mature into adult mosquitoes, they’re a lot harder to kill.

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So, let’s get right to the business of killing mosquito larvae. The website compiled five ways to kill mosquito larvae before they develop into full-on, flying mosquitoes, which can be read here.

Earlier this month the government urged residents to actively engage in killing mosquitoes and mosquito larvae, particularly at construction sites and housing for workers.

"The joint efforts by people in searching and eliminating mosquito larvae [are to] empty water containers, which are fertile for larvae to breed, and [to] spray chemicals to kill mosquitoes," Dr Vu Minh Dien of the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Hanoi told the media.

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