The number of cases of dengue fever continues to climb steadily among the Lao population as rainfall resumes and the wet season sets in.
As of July 17, more than 14,000 dengue cases were recorded, which resulted in 31 deaths, according to The Lao National Center for Laboratory and Epidemiology. The number stood at 10,778 in early July.
The center determined that the strain of dengue that hit the country is virus serotype 2 and 4.
In particular, Vientiane is experiencing an outbreak of the type 2 virus, while other southern provinces, including Champasack and Savannakhet, also recorded cases involving such virus, it added.
The serotype 2 causes hemorrhagic fever, which has a high mortality rate, and the center’s analysis showed that the virus seems to have mutated.
“People infected with the type 2 virus can become dangerously ill within two days instead of four or five days,” said Lao Minister of Health Bounkong Syhavong, as quoted by Xinhua News Agency.
Efforts to tackle the virus
The Lao government is currently increasing efforts to contain the outbreak.
The Health Ministry issued a nationwide dengue warning in early July amid increasing dengue fever cases across the country.
Experts have been sent from Vientiane to discuss the control of the disease, along with health workers in the south.
The authorities are also urging citizens to keep surroundings clean while focusing on destroying mosquitoes and their breeding sites inside and near these areas since mosquitoes are responsible for transmission.
Correct diagnoses is also vital for effective treatment.
Nations across Southeast Asia are noting a high number of cases with the death toll rising in Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines.
The World Health Organization estimates that about 2.5 billion people live in dengue risk groups, with about 100 million new cases each year worldwide.