Source: Vientiane Times
Health authorities are calling on the public to make preparations against the dengue virus this rainy season after one person has already died from the disease this year.
As of April 24, 904 people had been diagnosed with dengue fever with one death recorded the around country, the Ministry of Health’s Communicable Disease Control Department reported.
A senior official, who asked not to be named, from the National Centre for Laboratory and Epidemiology under the Ministry of Health yesterday called on local authorities across the country to closely monitor their areas in the fight against dengue, hoping to reduce the number of cases.
In addition, a publicity campaign was needed to raise awareness of ways to prevent dengue fever and reduce the number of people contracting and dying from the disease, the official said.
Authorities are urging people to clear potential mosquito breeding sites around their homes and workplaces to help curb the spread of the virus. These activities are focused on long-term prevention rather than solely treatment and are vital to combating the disease.
In particular, local communities need to keep their surroundings clean while focusing on killing mosquitoes and their larva inside and near these areas. Authorities have been raising public awareness as one of the main strategies to reduce the risk of dengue transmission.
Every family should throw out any water that collects in jars, vases, and dishes and should cover such vessels to prevent more water from filling them again.
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 crucial in the battle against dengue fever.
Meanwhile, improvement of the diagnosis and treatment of dengue at hospitals and dispensaries is necessary to prevent unavoidable deaths.
“If you fall ill at this time of the year, you should consider the fact that dengue could be the likely cause. Please try to go to a hospital for a diagnosis as quickly as possible. Don’t try to buy medicine at a pharmacy and take it at home,” the health official said.
“This is a risky practice. Some people have already died because they self-medicated instead of having their symptoms monitored by a doctor.”
Five simple measures are advised as being the most effective method of dengue control. These are being practised by households in Laos and other Asean countries where dengue is prevalent. These measures consist of closing and sealing all unused containers, flushing out all water vessels, placing small guppy fish in water jars as these eat mosquito larvae, cleaning areas around homes and, finally, remembering to do these four tasks each week.