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Vietnam’s Dengue Fever Outbreak Has Infected Over 90,000 People

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Vietnam has been fighting one of its worst dengue fever outbreaks in recent years, with over 10,000 new infections reported in the past week alone across its healthcare system.

The number of dengue patients shows a 42% increase over the same time frame last year, along with seven additional deaths, Vietnam’s Ministry of Health said. So far, 90,626 people have been infected. Among them, 76,848 have been hospitalized, and 24 have died, ABC News reports.

According to the ministry, this increase in dengue cases is caused by higher temperatures, more rains and urbanization, which has allowed the disease-carrying mosquitoes to breed faster.

Dr. Vu Minh Dien of the National Hospital of Tropical Diseases in Hanoi said that between 800 to 1,000 people have been coming in daily to get checked for fevers, compared to just a few last year.

Around 300 patients were being treated in the hospital, Dien said, which has put a crimp o the hospital’s resources and staff. So far, the hardest-hit cities are Hani and Ho Chi Minh City.

Tran Thi Xuyen from Son La province contracted dengue, along with a fellow fruit and vegetable seller. She said she had no idea where she got the virus. “I took anti-biotics prescribed by the local district hospital for four days, but the fever did not go away and I admitted myself to this hospital where doctors said I had dengue fever,” she said.

The Vietnamese government is encouraging residents to actively kill mosquitoes and mosquito larvae, especially at construction sites and workers’ housing. Dien said, “The joint efforts by the people as well as our political system in searching and eliminating mosquito larvae, emptying water containers, which are fertile for larvae to breed, and spraying chemicals to kill mosquitoes are key factors to curb dengue fever.”

There is currently no cure for any of the four dengue strains. Symptoms include high fever, exhaustion, and even a skin rash. The most at risk for the virus are the elderly, children, and those with compromised immune systems or pre-existing medical conditions.

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