Dengue Patients Sleep in Corridors, Meeting Rooms as Vientiane Hospitals Run Out of Beds

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Patients at a children's hospital treated in a hallway after beds fill up during the dengue fever outbreak (Djoy Vatthanaphone).
Patients at a children's hospital treated in a hallway after beds fill up during the dengue fever outbreak (Djoy Vatthanaphone).

The number of dengue fever cases across Laos could reach more than 20,000 this year, with the outbreak already pushing hospitals to their limits.

A representative from the Ministry of Health told Laotian Times this week that many hospitals in the nation’s capital have been forced to convert corridors and meeting rooms into wards for dengue fever patients after running out of space.

Some medical facilities have also requested donations of additional beds from the public.

The number of dengue fever patients jumped significantly between May and July when the wet season began.

According to the Center of Information and Education for Health, Vientiane Capital has recorded the highest number of dengue fever infections this year at 8,354. Luang Namtha Province has seen 1,803 cases, with 1,121 cases recorded in Salavanh, and 736 cases in Attapeu Province.

Sixteen deaths have been recorded across the country so far, with five deaths in Vientiane Capital, one death in Luang Namtha Province with three and four deaths in Salavanh and Attapeu respectively.

Lao health authorities are urging people to clear potential mosquito breeding sites around their homes and places of work to help control the spread of the virus.

Meanwhile, the country has also seen a spike in cases of Covid-19, with the number of daily infections reaching 100 yesterday. Of these, 90 cases were recorded in Vientiane Capital, which also has the highest number of dengue fever patients.