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Public urged to prevent dengue mosquitoes from breeding

Over 300 local residents and officials gathered in Xaythany district on Saturday for a public campaign to encourage people to play their part in keeping the dengue virus at bay.
Health officials took to the streets of Xaysomboune village, driving around in pick-up trucks to broadcast messages about ways to curb the onset and spread of dengue and prevent mosquitoes from breeding.
The event was overseen by Minister of Health Associate Prof. Dr Bounkong Syhavong and the Mayor of Vientiane, Dr Sinlavong Khoutphaythoune.
As of July 25, 17,403 people had been diagnosed with dengue fever and 39 had died, the ministry’s Communicable Disease Control Department reported.

Eleven deaths occurred in Vientiane, 12 in Savannakhet province, five in Champassak, three in Saravan, four in Khammuan, one in Xayaboury, and two in Borikhamxay province.
Speaking on the occasion, Assoc. Prof. Dr Bounkong Syhavong said the aim of the publicity campaign was to raise awareness of ways to prevent dengue fever and reduce the number of people contracting and dying from the disease. The minister advised everyone to clear out potential mosquito breeding sites in order to stop dengue-transmitting mosquitoes from reproducing. He also advised health workers to educate local communities so that they understand the dangers of the disease and take active steps to prevent it.
Meanwhile, improvement of the diagnosis and treatment of dengue at hospitals and dispensaries was necessary to prevent unavoidable deaths, the minister added.
“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,” he said.
“This is a risky practice. Some people have already died because they self-medicated instead of having their symptoms monitored by a doctor.”
It is not only Laos that is suffering from a dengue outbreak. Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Singapore are also seeing high numbers of dengue cases.
Five simple measures are advised as being the most effective method of dengue control. These are being practiced 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 July 29, 2019)

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