The Hygiene and Health Promotion Department of the Ministry of Health has suggested that residents regularly clean areas that could be potential breeding grounds for the Aedes Aegypti mosquito that causes Dengue.
Dr. Phonepaseuth Ounaphom, the department’s director general, told the Vientiane Times this week that the majority of the public feels it is no longer required to keep an eye out for Dengue-causing mosquitoes and clear stagnant water because the rainy season is behind us.
“People must continue to exercise caution in October and November. Although the rainy season has ended, it doesn’t mean that water lying in old tires and other empty containers will dry up immediately. People should still check for and remove any water that is lying around their houses,” Dr. Phonepaseuth said.
He further added that while a fresh bout of rain can cause certain water containers to overflow, killing mosquito larvae, unemptied containers that lie stagnant weeks after monsoons have passed, can serve as active breeding grounds for a large number of larvae.
The Ministry of Health is supporting local health departments for them to run a weekly Dengue fever prevention campaign till the end of November. Because regardless of the season, people must continue to look for and remove any stagnant water to prevent the breeding of mosquitoes.
Dr. Phonepaseuth also advised people to sleep under mosquito nets to protect themselves from mosquito bites, and frequently use mosquito repellent as another precautionary measure. He said that shrubs around houses should also be pruned to ensure that they don’t serve as hiding places for mosquitoes.
Health officials insist that if people follow the “Ha Por” Dengue safe practices, which include sealing containers, emptying all water vessels, keeping Guppy fish in large jars of water, and sanitizing residential areas, they will be at a much lower risk to contract Dengue fever.
On Monday, 114 new Dengue cases were reported across the country, increasing the total for the year to 27,928, with 21 people dying from the disease.