HCMC Schools put on disease alert
Schools in HCM City must carry out stronger measures to prevent the spread of contagious diseases, the head of the city's Preventive Health Centre told a meeting in HCM City on Wednesday.

Nguyen Tri Dung said there had been outbreaks of chicken pox, mumps and hand-foot-mouth disease at kindergarten and primary schools in HCM City since the beginning of January.

Chicken pox has appeared in three primary schools in Binh Thanh District, District 1 and District 12, and at one kindergarten in Binh Thanh District.

An outbreak of mumps has occurred in District 5's Tran Quoc Toan Primary School, and two kindergartens in District 5 have reported cases of hand-foot-mouth disease among students.

Speaking at a monthly meeting with the city's Health Department and preventive health centres, Dung told district health officials to be more vigilant about recording the number of cases at schools.

Schools are required to report absent students who have been sick to their local preventive health centre, he said.

If there are new cases, schools and preventive health centres should submit reports to the city Preventive Health Centre immediately.

The prolonged hot weather has created favourable conditions for virus development. The Southern Centre for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting said the hot weather would continue until the end of the month, with virtually on rain.

Dung said parents should ensure their children are vaccinated and that they pay attention to hygiene. He also urged parents to take their children to the hospital if they suspect they are sick, and keep them at home during their illness.

The city's paediatrics hospitals have also seen an increasing number of respiratory infections in the last two weeks.

Dr Tran Anh Tuan, head of Paediatricts Hospital No.1's respiratory diseases ward, said about 60 children a day were being admitted to the hospital.

The ward has only 100 beds, but there have been 200 inpatients and even 300 on peak days.

He said the main cause of respiratory infections was the parents' misuse of fans and air conditioners.

Dengue fever

The number of dengue fever cases in the city has also increased since the beginning of the year, Dung said.

Around 3,000 people with the disease were hospitalised in HCM City in the last three months, an increase of 43 per cent compared to the same period last year. Of these, two patients in districts 3 and Binh Tan died due to the disease.

Dong Nai Province's Preventive Health Centre has reported 860 dengue fever cases in the last three months, an increase of 93 per cent compared to the same period last year. Most of the cases occurred in industrial parks. Two of the people died.

The province plans to conduct a campaign on killing mosquito larvae in communes and wards by the end of this month.


HCMC Schools put on disease alert