Tag Archives: dengue fever

Laos Issues Nationwide Dengue Warning

Laos Issues Dengue Fever Warning

The Lao Ministry of Health has issued a nationwide warning amid increasing dengue fever incidence across the country.

Dengue Fever on the Rise across Laos

mosquito transmitting dengue fever

Dengue fever is on the rise in Laos this year, with hospitals reporting an increase in the number of patients.

Dengue Fever Cases Surge From Previous Year

dengue fever

With the goal to prevent and control the outbreak of dengue fever, a warning to the public has been issued by the Health Authority of possible outbreaks and awareness on the spreading disease.

According to the Director of the National Centre for Laboratory and Epidemiology, Dr Phengta Vongphachanh, from January through April of this year alone, an estimated 558 dengue fever cases have been recorded nationwide, a huge jump from the 249 dengue fever cases that were reported around the same time last year.

Recent data collected has indicated that dengue fever infections have had the most impact in Vientiane compared to any other provinces in the country.

There have been 151 dengue fever cases reported in the capital so far, while no outbreaks had been reported this time in 2016.

120 dengue fever infections have been recorded in Champassak, while about 115 dengue fever cases have been reported in Attapeu and other provinces.

Last year, Champassak lost 6 people to dengue fever and reported the highest number of outbreaks across the country.

Dr Phengta Vongphachanh stated that increasing public awareness on the disease is one of the main strategies to reduce the risk of dengue transmission.

Local officials and health authorities are actively urging residents to clear potential mosquito breeding sites around their homes and workplaces to help tame the spread of the virus, aiming at long-term prevention rather than treatment on a case to case basis.

Dr Phengta urges all homes, schools, factories, hotels, restaurants and offices to discard any water that collects in jars, vases and dishes and should take precaution with all stagnant water in the area.


Dengue Fever Already at Epidemic Level in Laos in 2017

Dengue Fever Laos 2017

Minister of Health, Associate Professor Dr Bounkong Syhavong chaired the annual National Dengue Review Meeting organized by the Department of Communicable Disease Control (DCDC) and Center for Malaria Parasitology and Entomology (CMPE), Ministry of Health. Dengue activities in MOH are also supported by the National Centre for Laboratory and Epidemiology (NCLE), Department of Health Care (DHC) and Vientiane Capital Health Department and provincial health departments.

Speaking at the event, Dr Bounkong said “DCDC, NCLE and CMPE have been working with central and provincial health departments to closely follow up on trends of dengue cases to determine dengue transmission in high risk areas and to monitor changes in mosquito density. We need to closely monitor circulating dengue serotypes and continue to encourage community participation to destroy mosquito breeding sites.”

Dr Juliet Fleischl, WHO Representative to Lao PDR highlighted that “Dengue is already at alert and epidemic level with most of the cases reported from Vientiane Capital, Attapeu Province and Champasack Province. We seriously need to consider the possibility of a major dengue outbreak this year and take concrete proactive measures to prevent that from happening by destroying mosquito breeding sites and keep a close monitoring on vector surveillance so that we can act before it is too late.”

Dengue outbreaks are cyclical, occurring every 3 to 5 years. The last time Laos had a big outbreak was back in 2013.  The situation now is similar to what we faced back in 2013 before the outbreak. At the end of 2012, there was a local dengue outbreak in Luang Prabang Province and a change in the Dengue serotypes reported. At the beginning of 2013, we saw the highest number of dengue cases reported since 2010. Climate variation was also a concern at that time.

Last year, we know that there was a local dengue outbreak in Sokhuma District of Champassack Province, and reported cases from Bolikhamxay and Khammuane provinces. Dengue serotypes reported has changed from DEN 2 and 3 to DEN 1 and 4. The numbers of dengue cases which we are seeing in 2017, which is 215 reported dengue cases with no death, is second only to 2013. 

From Vientiane Capital down to the Champasack and Attapeu provinces, many provinces are reporting dengue cases at alert level. We are also seeing changes in climate conditions, all evidences to suggest we may have another dengue outbreak if we do nothing today.

Changes in agricultural practices due to variation in temperature and rainfall can affect the transmission of vector-borne diseases. Better reporting systems are needed to monitor and predict trends, as well as to support surveillance and capture the true burden of the disease.

Since the start of the year, DCDC and CMPE have travelled to the southern provinces to monitor the daily dengue surveillance review. The provincial and district offices in Attapeu and Champassack have been working with communities in regular clean-up campaign to maintain a clean environment that prevent mosquito breeding.

Dengue prevention and control solely depends on effective vector control measures. Behavioral change is a crucial element in vector-borne diseases in understanding dengue prevention and on how to protect themselves from mosquitoes, ticks, bugs, flies and other vectors.

Community need to dispose of solid wastes properly and removing artificial man-made habitats that will promote mosquito breeding. Always cover, empty and clean domestic water storage containers on a weekly basis. Use personal household protection such as window screens, long-sleeved clothes, insecticides treated materials, coils and insecticides.

The Ministry of Health and partners agreed that the annual National Dengue Review Meeting comes at an opportune time to discuss dengue outbreak control activities for this year based on lesson learnt and intervention taken in the past.  While the Ministry of Health continue to monitor the situation, it is important for us to stay vigilant and protect ourselves against mosquito bites.

Source: WHO Press Release

50 Dengue Fever Cases Already Reported in 2017

Dengue Fever

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:

  1. Cover any empty containers around the house that may contain water
  2. Frequently change water kept in containers around the house
  3. Release fish where possible, as fish will eat mosquito larvae
  4. Ensure cleanliness around the home, and do not leave empty containers or rubbish around the home such as empty bottles, cans, or old tyres.
  5. 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