Dengue fever pandemic expected in southern Vietnam

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Experts predict dengue fever will reach pandemic proportions in the southern region, where it has claimed 21 lives among 35,732 cases so far this year, according to a report on Lao Dong newspaper Monday.

According to the Pasteur Institute in Ho Chi Minh City, cases of dengue fever are increasing at an alarming rate within the region, with HCMC, Dong Nai, Ben Tre and Can Tho claiming the most infections.

With the disease at its seasonal peak, the likelihood that it will become a pandemic is high, as the southern region has entered the rainy season, it said.

Statistics show that up to 2,001 dengue fever infections were reported in the south in one week alone, between July 23 and 29.

The region's 35,732 infections represent a 20 percent increase compared to last year.

As of the end of July, HCMC had recorded more than 5,600 cases of dengue fever, while Dong Nai and Ben Tre provinces had seen over 3,000 and 1,200 cases, respectively.

The HCMC People's Committee instructed authorities from 24 districts to work closely with the health sector to implement measures to prevent and curtail the spread of dengue fever.

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The HCMC Health Department was asked to increase inspections and intensify their monitoring of the preventive measures being taken and the development of the disease in general.

According to the Pasteur Institute, dengue fever can be prevented if local residents maintain hygienic conditions within their homes which can drastically reduce the presence of mosquitoes.

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