Malaria epidemic is at risk of spreading in Vietnam?

According to Associate Professor Do Duy Cuong – Director of the Center for Tropical Diseases – Bach Mai Hospital, recently the Center recorded two cases of malaria patients. For many years, Hanoi and the northern provinces have almost no malaria patients. Therefore, timely detection, diagnosis and treatment of malaria cases returning from abroad in many lower-level medical facilities are still difficult and easily missed.

Doctor Do Duy Cuong said that after exploiting epidemiological factors, both patients had returned from Angola (Africa). When combined with blood tests, doctors detected the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum in the blood. Malaria patients returning from Africa should be called “imported” malaria.

“Both patients being treated at the center had a fever right after returning to Vietnam, but the local health department did not detect it, ignoring the epidemiological factor that was coming from Africa, so it was easy to miss. Malaria symptoms are atypical, easily confused with other diseases such as flu, COVID-19, dengue fever or urinary tract infection…”, Associate Professor-Dr. Cuong said.

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Associate Professor Do Duy Cuong visits malaria patients.

Ho Chi Minh City Hospital for Tropical Diseases is also treating two patients who entered Africa (a female, 24 years old, an international student, living in Binh Thanh district, returning from Cameroon and a male, 63 years old, nationality. China, entry from Ivory Coast) has severe malaria.

Dr. Ho Dang Trung Nghia – Head of the Vietnam – UK Infection Department, Hospital for Tropical Diseases – said that the test results showed that the density of malaria parasites in the two patients was very high. The patients were actively treated with antimalarial drugs and a combination of supportive treatment means.

Information from the Center for Disease Control of Ho Chi Minh City, by the end of 2021, the country has 36 provinces and cities recognized to eliminate malaria. According to the plan, Vietnam is striving to achieve malaria elimination by 2030.

Particularly in Ho Chi Minh City, from 2011 to now, no internal malaria cases have been detected, which has been recognized to eliminate malaria from 2020. The city is in the stage of preventing malaria from returning after elimination.

Is malaria at risk of spreading?

Dr. Tran Thanh Long, Head of the treatment division of the parasitology clinic at the Institute of Malaria – Parasitology – Entomology, Ho Chi Minh City, said that the “culprit” of malaria is the Anopheles mosquito.

The condition to transmit this disease is to have Anopheles mosquito, while Ho Chi Minh City has eliminated this disease, so the risk of malaria “present” in HCMC is not there.

Doctor Long added that our country has long recorded many cases of malaria, but now there are very few. However, if people go into the deep forest where malaria is circulating, they still have the possibility of getting malaria when Anopheles mosquito bites like some localities such as Bu Gia Map, Dak O, Dak Nhau, Binh Phuoc province.

“People have nothing to worry about. The two cases of malaria that have just been detected in Ho Chi Minh City are imported from Africa, while malaria only occurs when there is an intermediary that transmits the disease (Anopheles mosquito).

If you suspect and do not know that you have been bitten by a common mosquito or Anopheles, you should check if you have passed through an endemic area and quickly go to a medical facility for examination and appropriate treatment. Dr. Long said.

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Plasmodium malaria parasite.

The Center for Disease Control of Ho Chi Minh City also said that because Ho Chi Minh City is a place with great population fluctuations and is also home to many last-level hospitals, there are still some cases of malaria coming from malaria every year. areas where malaria is endemic at home and abroad.

The results of surveillance for malaria transmission in Ho Chi Minh City currently do not detect mosquitoes that transmit the disease. Therefore, the risk of malaria transmission in the city is very low.

Across the country, malaria vectors (PV) surveillance were organized in 14 provinces and dengue vectors in 5 provinces to control, control and prevent diseases caused by different species. caused by insects.

According to Associate Professor Do Duy Cuong, the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum is the main cause of the disease, accounting for about 70-80% of malaria cases in Vietnam. This malaria parasite almost only grows well in hot and humid climates.

Accordingly, the transmission process begins when female Anopheles mosquitoes suck on blood containing spores from a person with malaria. The gametes inside the mosquito begin to reproduce and produce sporozoites after about 1-2 weeks.

The incubation period from the time of being bitten by a mosquito infected with the malaria parasite to the onset of clinical manifestations depends on the type of parasite, usually from 9 to 20 days. The incubation period depends on the number of parasites in the blood, but in general the incubation period is short, a few days.

“We have met many cases of malaria becoming malignant with continuous high fever symptoms, which can go into a coma after 3-5 days, life-threatening. Accompanied by coma is multi-organ failure ( liver, kidney, lung…) or anemia, convulsions, hypoglycemia.

However, if treated promptly, with the right drugs and good drugs, the functions will gradually recover. Currently available antimalarials (Artesunate, Arterakin) are provided under the program by the Ministry of Health”, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Do Duy Cuong informed.

Dangerous complications of malaria

According to information from the Department of Preventive Medicine (Ministry of Health), complicated malaria or severe malaria has a prominent malignant manifestation, which is a disturbance of consciousness (lethargy or struggle, delirium, slurred speech). crap), persistent high fever, a lot of insomnia, severe headache, vomiting or diarrhea a lot, severe physical condition.

Malaria also causes blockage of capillaries by parasitic infected red blood cells adhering to the endothelium. Ischemia can occur with hypoxemia of tissues, brain, kidneys, lungs, and gastrointestinal tract. Hypoglycemia and lactic acidosis are other potential complications.

Pregnant women with malaria are at increased risk for complications or miscarriage, stillbirth or premature delivery. Children over 6 months old are susceptible to malaria due to the loss of maternal immunity and hemoglobin F. Children with malaria often have high fever continuously or fluctuating, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal distention, hepatosplenomegaly, and signs meningitis and convulsions, high mortality

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