More than fifty cases of dengue fever have already been reported across Laos since the beginning of 2017.
The Surveillance Unit of the Ministry of Public Health has warned that although the nation has implemented strategies to reduce outbreaks of dengue fever, there have already been multiple cases reported this year. Of the fifty reported cases, twenty cases occurred in Vientiane Capital.
Recent changes in the weather have provided the right conditions for mosquitoes to breed, and the ministry says that if relevant authorities do not exercise haste in undertaking preventative measures, a severe outbreak could occur.
Early preventative measures are key to preventing an outbreak, including increased surveillance and faster response rates, and immediate reporting of any dengue fever cases.
Residents must join in the fight against dengue fever by taking preventative measures in their homes. Any possible mosquito breeding sites must be destroyed, and residents can follow these five basic steps provided by the Ministry of Public Health:
- Cover any empty containers around the house that may contain water
- Frequently change water kept in containers around the house
- Release fish where possible, as fish will eat mosquito larvae
- Ensure cleanliness around the home, and do not leave empty containers or rubbish around the home such as empty bottles, cans, or old tyres.
- Follow steps 1 – 4, clean the house every week
The Lao Ministry of Public Health urges anyone who feels they may have symptoms consistent with Dengue Fever to immediately visit a hospital or clinic for evaluation. Early treatment can assist in fighting the disease.
Source: Lao Phatthana