Lao government reminds public to stay vigilant against dengue amid rainy season

VIENTIANE (Xinhua) – The Lao Ministry of Health urged people countrywide to remain vigilant and help control the spread of dengue fever as the number of infected cases continues to grow during rainy season.

If people fall ill, they should suspect that dengue may be the cause of their illness and get a blood test at a hospital, Deputy Director General of the Department of Communicable Diseases Control under Lao Ministry of Health Sisavath Soutthaniraxay told a press conference in Lao capital Vientiane yesterday.

The Lao Ministry of Health suggested five simple measures as the most effective method of dengue control which is being practised by households across the region.

These measures consist of closing and sealing unused containers, flushing out water vessels, placing small guppy fish in water jars as they eat mosquito larvae, cleaning areas around homes, and remembering to do these four tasks each week.

Some 6,812 people have been diagnosed with dengue fever and 12 deaths have been recorded.

The highest number of dengue patients were reported in Lao capital Vientiane at 1,585 with four deaths, while 753 cases and two deaths were reported in Bolikhamxay province, and 680 cases were recorded in Bokeo province.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), dengue fever is one of the fastest emerging infections, with Thailand, Laos, the Philippines and Singapore also seeing high incidences.

The number of cases in the Western Pacific Region has more than doubled over the past 10 years.