Ho Chi Minh City borrows people’s energy to search for dengue fever outbreaks

The Ho Chi Minh City Department of Health urges people to report places in the community where mosquitoes and mosquitoes are likely to cause outbreaks of dengue fever.

The method is to send information to the “Online Health” application, which can be with photos, videos, text messages with addresses of places where many mosquitoes, many nests. When receiving a complaint, the Department of Health will confirm and transfer the information to the local government for processing, possibly administrative sanctions where/violators.

In June, the People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City asked localities, when detecting swarms, to guide people on handling measures and sign a commitment to eliminate swarms. If the violation is committed for the second time, the locality will impose an administrative penalty according to Decree 117, depending on the severity of the violation, it can be from 200,000 VND to 20 million VND.

This time, the health sector called on people to detect places at risk of becoming an outbreak to prevent them soon, in the context that the number of dengue fever cases in the city is increasing and may overlap with the Covid-19 epidemic.

Rainwater stagnates in the wastes causing litter generation. Image: Ho Chi Minh City Center for Disease Control

According to the Pasteur Institute in Ho Chi Minh City, the dengue epidemic in the southern provinces and Ho Chi Minh City this year belongs to the serotype D1 like last year. However, recently there has been an increase in strain D2. As a rule, when there is a reappearance of a serotype that has been absent for a while, the number of new cases will tend to increase, correspondingly, there will be an increase in the number of severe cases and the number of deaths.

Every year, the city records tens of thousands of dengue fever cases, of which about 5-10 deaths. This year alone, the city has recorded more than 23,000 cases since the beginning of the year, of which there have been 11 deaths, an increase of 9 cases compared to the average in the 2016-2020 period. Many last-line hospitals in Ho Chi Minh City are overloaded and have to add extra beds in the corridors because serious patients rush into the hospital. The health sector forecasts that the remaining months of 2022 will be the peak of the rainy season, the number of dengue fever cases will continue to increase, leading to an increase in the number of serious illnesses and deaths if drastic prevention is not done from now on.

Currently, there is no specific treatment for dengue fever. The main method of disease prevention is still to cut off the transmission of the disease through the control of mosquitoes and mosquitos. A few countries use dengue vaccine, but the effectiveness is not high.

The mosquito that transmits dengue fever is known as the “noble mosquito” because the larvae (the larvae of the mosquito) can only grow in clean water such as tap water or rain water. Ponds and sewers can be breeding grounds for many other species of mosquitoes, but not mosquitoes that transmit dengue.

According to the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Health, localities are increasing spraying of insecticides to kill mosquitoes in areas at risk of dengue fever. However, spraying chemicals to kill dengue mosquitoes is only an urgent response measure to rapidly reduce the number of adult mosquitoes. After the time the chemical exists in space, the new mosquito will continue to grow and spread the disease. Therefore, spraying insecticides to kill mosquitoes can only be effective when the killing is done synchronously and thoroughly.

The health sector recommends that families spend at least 15 minutes a week cleaning the house, not leaving any containers of water in and around the house to create conditions for squirrels to live. At the same time, arrange to keep the house neat and cool, not creating conditions for mosquitoes to hide.

Offices, schools and workplaces need to be thoroughly cleaned, eliminating mosquito breeding places. Places without direct managers such as vacant land waiting for construction interspersed in residential areas, hanging planning areas… also need general cleaning, collection and destruction of waste and water containers.

Le Phuong


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