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During 2006–2007, a cohort of 144 confirmed dengue cases in Can Tho Province, Vietnam were compared with a matching set of 144 households that had no dengue cases. Approximately 6–9 months after sickness, there were no significant differences in terms of knowledge of the etiology of dengue, mosquito breeding habitats, and prevention measures in respondents from both sets of households. There was also no difference in the abundance of Aedes aegypti (Linn.) adults but the average numbers of late instar and pupal Ae. aegypti per household were greater in the negative control houses. Thus, the risk seemed to be no higher in case households, although it is conceivable that changes may have occurred in either group over the intervening period. The average cost for a dengue patient was 2,798,000 Vietnamese Dong (VND) (US$167.77), 2,154,000 VND for direct costs, and 644,000 VND for indirect costs. There was a 22% difference in cost for those with and without health insurance. In terms of impact on family economies, 47.2% had to borrow money for treatment, and after 6 months, 71.7% had not begun or had only managed part repayments. Approximately 72.9% indicated that the cost of supporting a dengue patient had impacted on the family economy, with the loss averaging 36% of the annual income in the lowest economic quartile.
Financial support: This study was supported through an AusAID Vietnam Australia Non-Government Organization Cooperative Agreement grant, which was administered by the Australian Foundation for Peoples of Asia and Pacific, Limited.
Disclosure: None of the authors have any conflicts of interest.
Authors' addresses: Pham Thi Tam, Nguyen Tan Dat, and Xuan Cuc Pham Thi, School of Public Health, Can Tho University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Ninh Kieu, Can Tho City, Vietnam. Hoang Minh Duc and Tran Cong Tu, National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, Hai Ba Trung, Hanoi, Vietnam. Simon Kutcher, Australian Foundation for Peoples of Asia and the Pacific Limited, currently Family Health International 360, Hanoi, Vietnam. Peter A. Ryan and Brian H. Kay, Queensland Institute of Medical Research, Herston, Queensland, Australia.
Reprint requests: Brian H. Kay, Queensland Institute of Medical Research, Post Office Royal Brisbane Hospital, Brisbane, Queensland 4029, Australia, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.