Source: Vientiane Times
Health authorities in the capital have admitted that the outbreak of dengue fever is higher this year compared to the same period in 2016.
From January 1-24 this year, 70 dengue fever infections have been recorded in Vientiane, while in the same period last year there were no reports of any outbreaks, Head of Epidemiology Division under the Vientiane Health Department, Dr Chanthalay Sayavong said.
The news comes with 12 out of 18 provinces in the country reporting dengue fever at alarming epidemic levels though no deaths have been recorded from a total of 235 reported cases following a nationwide outbreak this year.
However, the six provinces of Bokeo, LuangNamtha, Xaysomboun, Phongsaly, Huaphan and XiengKhuang have not reported any outbreaks, the health official confirmed.
DrChanthalay told Vientiane Times yesterday that openly reporting outbreaks was part of the plan in responding to dengue. “We acknowledge that increasing public awareness is one of the main strategies to reduce the risk of dengue transmission,” he said.
He said local officials and health authorities are urging people to clear potential mosquito breeding sites around their homes and workplaces to help curb the spread of the virus.
“Health authorities face a renewed threat from the mosquito-borne virus during this peak risk period,” he said.
These activities were focused on long-term prevention rather than solely treatment and were vital to combating the disease. In particular, local communities needed to keep their surroundings clean, while focusing on killing mosquitoes and their larva inside and near these areas, he added.
He explained every family should throw out water that collects in jars, vases and dishes and should cover such vessels to prevent more water filling them.
Schools, hospitals, factories, hotels, restaurants, tourist facilities and offices should organise cleaning activities to remove any sources of stagnant water to slow mosquito breeding.
Village heads, associations, charities and monks are also important in the battle against the potentially fatal virus.
Dengue is an infectious tropical disease transmitted by mosquitoes and characterised by rashes, severe headaches, and pain in the joints. The mosquitoes doing the damage are the Aedesaegypti and Aedesalbopictus species.
According to the National Centre for Laboratory and Epidemiology, there were 281 dengue cases in Vientiane last year with 1,950 dengue cases nationwide in which seven people reportedly died.
Champassak took the brunt of the outbreak with six deaths recorded and the highest number of cases. Saravan province reported the other death.