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Dengue Fever Claims Two Lives

Source: Vientiane Time

Two people have died following a nationwide outbreak of dengue fever in the first five months of this year, with Vientiane and Xayaboury provinces recording the most cases.

From December 1, 2019, to May 12, at least 1,081 cases of dengue were recorded around the country.

Two people in Champassak province died after contracting the virus and Vientiane reported 316 cases, according to the National Centre for Laboratory and Epidemiology under the Ministry of Health.

A senior official at the Centre, who asked not to be named, said on Tuesday that 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 and are vital to combating the disease.

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In particular, communities need to keep their surroundings clean while doing everything possible to get rid of mosquitoes and their larvae. Authorities have been raising public awareness about this issue as one of the main strategies to lower dengue transmission.

Every family should throw out any water that collects in jars, vases, or dishes and should cover such vessels to prevent more water from filling them.

Schools, hospitals, factories, hotels, restaurants, tourist facilities, and offices should organise cleaning activities to remove any 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 a likely cause of your illness and you should 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 and some people have died because they self-medicated instead of having their symptoms monitored by a doctor.”

The Ministry of Health will continue to work closely with central and provincial health departments to follow up on trends in dengue transmission and ensure that mosquito breeding sites are wiped out, she added.

Communities are advised to make a greater effort by organising regular clean-up campaigns and maintaining clean environments to prevent mosquitoes from breeding in large numbers.