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Health authorities issue dengue rallying call to communities
 
Local people need to continue emptying containers that could hold stagnant water to stop mosquitoes from breeding and help curb the spread of dengue fever, according to a leading health official.

Speaking at the daily press briefing on Tuesday, Member of the National Taskforce Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control, Associate Prof. Dr Phouthone Muongpak said while Laos has gone over 50 consecutive days without any new coronavirus infections, dengue fever remained as a persistent and potentially deadly threat to society. According to figures from the National Centre for Laboratory and Epidemiology, under the Ministry of Health, from December 18, 2019, to June 1, 1,564 people had been diagnosed with dengue fever, with four deaths recorded countrywide. Higher average temperatures as a result of climate change are believed to be a causal factor in the broader spread of this mosquito-borne virus.
The capital reported the highest number of dengue infections, with 370 cases and two deaths, Vientiane province 235 cases, Borikhamxay 146, Khammuan 138 cases and one death, Xayaboury 86 cases and one death, Savannakhet 104 cases, while Attapeu has reported  209 cases and Saravan 90.  
Xekong province has confirmed 47 cases, with 32 cases in Luang Namtha, 24 in Oudomxay, 14 in Xaysomboun, 19 in Luang Prabang, nine in Champassak, five in Phongsaly, and four cases in Bokeo. Xieng Khuang and Huaphan have reported no dengue cases.
Local officials and health authorities continue to urge people to clear potential mosquito breeding sites around their homes and workplaces to help control the spread of the virus with associations, charities, and monks having crucial roles to play in the battle against dengue fever.
According to a Ministry of Health report, 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. 


By Phetphoxay Sengpaseuth
(Latest Update June 4, 2020)


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