Scorching hot weather conditions across the country are causing the outbreak of highly communicable diseases, particularly in children, adding to increasing numbers of patients already suffering from the dreaded hand-foot-mouth disease.
Outbreaks of meningitis and encephalitis among children this summer have added to the existing woes of medical personnel.
In Hanoi, the Central Children Hospital has been seeing over 100 sick children affected with meningitis and encephalitis each day. Some are even suffering from serious complications such as convulsion fits and coma; consequently, they have to be put on respirators.
Most of the hospitals in Thua Thien-Hue Province are now jam-packed with patients, whose numbers have risen by 40-50 per cent above average over the last few weeks.
The Pediatric Ward in Bach Mai Hospital and the Saint Paul Hospital have recorded twice as many sick children than on any average normal day. Dr. Nguyen Tien Dung, head of the Pediatric Ward in Bach Mai Hospital, said that during the hot and dry summer months, these two dangerous diseases often afflict young children.
Meningitis and encephalitis are common diseases that afflict toddlers and prove to be quite dangerous if discovered late; children can suffer serious mental after-effects or even die, Dung said.
Moreover, the symptoms of the diseases are the same as fever; and parents should take their children to medical clinics for examination if their child experiences fever, vomiting or headaches.
Meantime, the Preventive Medicine Centre in the northern mountainous province of Lao Cai confirmed an outbreak of bacillary dysentery in Sa Pa village in A Mu Sung in Bat Xat District. The disease has so far killed two children and driven 50 others into hospitals.
According to medical experts, contaminated water and an unhygienic environment has triggered the outbreak of the diseases. The government has sent many medics to affected villages to curb the spread of the diseases and to disinfect the surrounding living environment.