Dengue Fever Outbreak Far From Over

Dengue Fever Laos

The fight against dengue fever in the capital is proving to be an uphill battle, as the figure of outbreaks reported has more than doubled in just one month.

Dengue fever cases in Vientiane have inflated from 332 to 696 cases just from May thru June of this year, with one death reported. During the same period last year there were no reports of any outbreaks in the capital.

Year-to-date dengue fever infections nationwide have increased from 1,760 to 3,000 cases from May thru June, along with five deaths being recorded in the country.

Authorities are particularly concerned that dengue cases have been reported in the capital at an alarming higher rate than any other provinces across the country. These figures contrast from January 1 to June 30 of 2016 when only 249 cases  were reported for the entire country.

Acting Director of the National Centre for Laboratory and Epidemiology under the Ministry of Health, Dr Onechanh Keosavanh stated that openly reporting outbreaks is one of the main approaches in responding to dengue, adding that increasing public awareness is one of the strategies to reduce the risk of dengue transmission.

Local officials and health authorities continue to highly urge people to clear potential mosquito breeding sites around their homes and workplaces to help control the spread of the virus, stressing that local communities need to keep their surroundings clean, while focusing on killing mosquitoes and their larva inside and near these areas. Any still water that collects in jars, vases and dishes should be thrown out. Schools, hospitals, factories, hotels, restaurants, tourist facilities and offices are advised to organize cleaning activities to remove any sources of stagnant water to slow mosquito breeding.

According to the Ministry of Health, reported cases for 2017 are slightly higher than the 1,716 cases reported for 2014, however is still lower when compared to the same period in the epidemic years of 2010 and 2013.

2013 was particularly challenging with 15 out of 17 provinces reporting dengue at startling epidemic levels and resulted in 95 deaths from a total of 44,171 reported dengue cases.