Published Date: 2007-02-27 23:50:00
Subject: PRO/MBDS> Dengue - Viet Nam: vector increases, alert, RFI
Archive Number: 20070227.0702
DENGUE - VIET NAM: VECTOR INCREASES, ALERT, REQUEST FOR INFORMATION
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: 27 Feb 2007
From: PRO/MBDS <email@example.com>
Source: Thanh Nien [edited]
Vietnam may face dengue fever outbreak: ministry
Dengue fever is likely to resurface in Vietnam in April if the
burgeoning number of mosquitoes isn't curbed, the Ministry of Health
In a note sent recently to 64 provinces and cities, the ministry
warned that Vietnam's mosquito population -- distributor of dengue
fever -- has increased dramatically recently.
The ministry said that if a dengue epidemic surfaced, death tolls
could overtake those of the 1998 outbreak, when over 400 people perished.
The ministry instructed all provinces and cities to disburse all
allocated funds to combat the fever.
On Sunday [25 Feb 2006], the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Health
said it had dispatched personnel to the reportedly dengue fever-prone
districts 7, Binh Thanh, and Tan Phu to study the development of
Health watchdogs have blamed stagnant wastewater and dense water
hyacinth (a water plant with blue flowers) for mushrooming mosquito
populations in the said districts.
Dengue fever is fatal in about 5 percent of cases, especially in
children and young adults.
[Source: Tuoi Tre - Compiled by An Dien]
[There's a very interesting comment on the dengue situation in the
Western Pacific Region of the World Health Organiztion. (WPRO)
(available at <http://www.wpro.who.int/health_topics/dengue/general_info.htm>):
"Dengue and dengue haemorrhagic fever
Dengue fever is a growing problem in the Western Pacific Region.
Unprecedented rapid urbanization has resulted in an increasing number
of people living in poor housing with lack of proper waste disposal
and inadequate drainage, creating favourable breeding conditions for
the mosquito vectors of dengue.
"Dengue occurs in most of the countries in the Region, inflicting
severe health and financial tolls on the populations affected. In
2004, more than 160 000 cases of dengue and dengue haemorrhagic fever
were reported in the Region. Despite its significance, dengue
prevention and control activities are under-funded in many countries.
With appropriate levels of support, the risk of transmission can be
reduced and with it the associated morbidity and mortality. [at the
URL link provided for this information there is a good trend curve
showing annual cases of dengue with case fatality rates for the
The vast majority of dengue cases are reported from South-East Asian
countries; Cambodia, Malaysia, the Lao People's Democratic Republic,
the Philippines and Viet Nam. Whereas dengue in these countries is
seasonal/endemic, with larger cyclical epidemics every 3 to 5 years,
dengue outbreaks in the countries of the South Pacific and Australia
are less predictable.
The major obstacles to preventing dengue epidemics in the Region
effectively are low preparedness, inadequate surveillance, lack of
funding and poor data. Currently, epidemiological data is reported
only annually. Information about dengue epidemics often comes 1st
from the media sources rather than from official notification and
many countries appear reluctant to make public or share information
with neighbouring countries because of the potential economic impact,
especially on tourism."
The last sentence in the above description is the most sobering as it
acknowledges the challenges to "transparency" in reporting on the
part of the official sectors, mentioning the economic impact of
reports of dengue, especially on tourism. There are weekly updates
on dengue activity around the world covered on the general
ProMED-mail list, with reports of dengue activity in the MBDS region
countries, especially Viet Nam. But almost all of these updates are
gotten from newswire reports and not from official sources.
Last year, by July 2006, there had been reports of approximately 20
000 cases of dengue in VietNam (see general ProMED-mail report
Dengue/DHF update 2006 (26) 20060713.1935) and 3000 cases in Ho Chi
Min city alone. Taking the observed case fatality rate of
approximately 0.4 percent (from the date presented on the WPRO graph
it suggests there may have been upwards of 80 deaths attributable to
dengue in VietNam by July 2006. (The most recent data available on
the WPRO website on dengue/DHF (dengue hemorrhagic fever) is 2004
when there were 78 669 cases reported with 114 deaths attributable to
More information on the dengue situation in Viet Nam from
knowledgeable sources would be very much appreciated. - Mod.MPP]