HFM, dengue fever develop unpredictably

DONG NAI - The Preventive Healthcare Centre in southern Dong Nai Province warned that hand-foot-mouth disease (HFM) and dengue fever has developed quickly and unexpectedly across the region.

Centre statistics show that HFM disease has spread to 169 out of 171 communes, affecting 2,000 people and killing two since earlier this year.

Meanwhile, nearly 1,800 people have contracted dengue fever in 154 communes, with one patient succumbing to the disease.

Worse still, about 80 per cent of patients at Dong Nai's Children Hospital contracted both diseases, in part due to their attending unregistered, individually run kindergartens, according to their parents.

The provincial Education and Training Department admits there are hundreds of unlicensed kindergartens where baby sitters are old and facilities lack hygienic standards.

According to the centre, this is the peak time for the spread of diseases, with the number of people suffering from illnesses in Long Thanh, Nhon Trach and Trang Bom districts as well as Bien Hoa City currently higher than in previous years.

While the provincial healthcare centre plans to kill mosquitoes and larva spreading dengue fever via chemical spraying, Director Cao Trong Nguong says this is not a solution.

It is more important to raise peoples' awareness on health care, he stressed.