VIENTIANE, April 20 (Xinhua) -- The health authority of Laos has warned the public of possible outbreaks of dengue fever this year with the aim to prevent and control the disease.
From January to April this year, 558 dengue fever infections have been recorded in the country while during the same period last year there were 249 dengue fever cases across the country, Director of the National Center for Laboratory and Epidemiology Dr. Phengta Vongphachanh said on Thursday.
Currently, dengue fever infections have been recorded in capital Vientiane at a higher rate than other provinces in the country. There have been 151 dengue fever cases reported while during the same period last year there were no report of any outbreaks, Lao state-run media Vientiane Times reported.
As many as 120 dengue fever infections have been recorded in southern Champassak province.
Last year, Champassak reported the highest number of dengue cases with six deaths recorded. Dr. Phengta Vongphachanh was quoted by Vientiane Times as saying 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, adding that 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.
According to Lao National Center for Laboratory and Epidemiology, there were 1,950 dengue cases nationwide last year, in which seven people reportedly died.