Huge dengue outbreak

Vietnam has been battling raging dengue fever outbreaks with more than 10,000 new infections reported over the past week stretching its medical system.

The number of admitted patients represents a 42-per cent increase over the same period last year along with seven more deaths, the Ministry of Health said Friday. A total of 90,626 people have been infected, of whom 76,848 have been hospitalized and 24 have died.

The ministry attributed the rise of dengue outbreaks to higher temperature, more rains and rapid urbanization that promote the breeding of virus-carrying mosquitoes.

Dr. Vu Minh Dien of the National Hospital of Tropical Diseases in Hanoi, where the most severe cases were being treated, said that 800-1,000 people have been checking in daily complaining of fever. That compares to only several cases that reported to the hospital in June and July last year, he said.

Hanoi and the southern commercial hub of Ho Chi Minh City are the hardest hit.

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