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From January 1 to May 19, officials in Vietnam have reported 8,248 cases of dengue fever in Ho Chi Minh City, an increase of 33.3 percent over the same period last year, according to a Sai Gon Giai Phong (SGGP) report Friday.

Image/Vietnam MOH

Deputy Executive Director of the city Center for Disease Control Nguyen Hong Tam said that dengue fever in the southern metropolis prompts red alerts.

The number of severe cases reached 175 cases, an increase of 500 percent over the same period. The number of deaths was 6 people, up 300 percent.

Nationally, Vietnam has reported a total of 25,694 cases of dengue, including 13 deaths.

Aedes aegypti mosquito

Dengue is a viral infection transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito. There are four closely related but antigenically different serotypes of the virus that can cause dengue (DEN1, DEN 2, DEN 3, DEN 4).

Dengue Fever (DF) – marked by an onset of sudden high fever, severe headache, pain behind the eyes, and pain in muscles and joints. Some may also have a rash and varying degree of bleeding from various parts of the body (including nose, mouth and gums or skin bruising).Dengue has a wide spectrum of infection outcome (asymptomatic to symptomatic). Symptomatic illness can vary from dengue fever (DF) to the more serious dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF).

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Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF) – is a more severe form, seen only in a small proportion of those infected. DHF is a stereotypic illness characterized by 3 phases; febrile phase with high continuous fever usually lasting for less than 7 days; critical phase (plasma leaking) lasting 1-2 days usually apparent when fever comes down, leading to shock if not detected and treated early; convalescence phase lasting 2-5 days with improvement of appetite, bradycardia (slow heart rate), convalescent rash (white patches in red background), often accompanied by generalized itching (more intense in palms and soles), and diuresis (increase urine output).

Dengue Shock Syndrome (DSS) — Shock syndrome is a dangerous complication of dengue infection and is associated with high mortality. Severe dengue occurs as a result of secondary infection with a different virus serotype. Increased vascular permeability, together with myocardial dysfunction and dehydration, contribute to the development of shock, with resultant multiorgan failure.