WHO and Ministry of Health worked with the local authorities in Vang Vieng District on dengue prevention activities

Since the start of the rainy season in July this year, the number of dengue cases has been increasing in several provinces including Vientiane Capital and Province, Champassack, Savannakhet, Salavanh, Khammuane and Bolikhamxay provinces.

In Vientiane Province, Vang Vieng District, a popular tourist destination, efforts are made by the local authorities to stop dengue transmission by providing dengue prevention messages and vector control clean-up activities with the communities.

Vang Vieng District Health Office and Hospital

Dr Phatsamone, Director of the Vang Vieng Health Office and District Hospital discusses about dengue cases and transmission

The Centre of Information and Education for Health is producing a video on dengue prevention and transmission and advised everyone to take precaution against dengue and to protect themselves.

Dr Chanthapanya at the Vang Vieng District Hospital noticed an increase in number of dengue patients in recent months and provided information on dengue symptoms

Dengue should be suspected when a high fever (40°C/104°F) is accompanied by two of the following symptoms: severe headache, pain behind the eyes, muscle and joint pains, nausea, vomiting, swollen glands or rash. Symptoms usually last for 2–7 days after an incubation period of 4–10 days after the bite from an infected mosquito.

Severe dengue is a potentially deadly complication due to plasma leaking, fluid accumulation, respiratory distress, severe bleeding, or organ impairment. Warning signs occur 3–7 days after the first symptoms in conjunction with a decrease in temperature (below 38°C/100°F) and include: severe abdominal pain, persistent vomiting, and rapid breathing, bleeding gums, fatigue, restlessness and blood in vomit. The next 24–48 hours of the critical stage can be lethal; proper medical care is needed to avoid complications and risk of death.

For severe dengue, medical care by physicians and nurses experienced with the effects and progression of the disease can save lives – decreasing mortality rates from more than 20% to less than 1%. Maintenance of the patient's body fluid volume is critical to severe dengue care

Dengue patients at the Vang Vieng District Hospital usually feel better after 1-2 days, and many would ask to be discharged

Community clears mosquito breeding sites in Ban Phonsu

Villagers in Ban Phonsu have gathered since learning about the increase in dengue cases in their village. In this community mobilization activity, they learned that it is important to clear their homes and surrounding areas of mosquito breeding sites, at least once a week.

The health promotion staff provided dengue prevention messages to the villagers in Ban Phonsu

The villagers in Ban Phonsu gathered to participate in mosquito clean-up activities in their village

The village head, Mr Louangdala leading the community clean-up activity by picking up discarded trash along the road

The Lao Women Union member, Madam Sahaphanmenying and women in the community shared their experiences on dengue prevention

The main method to control or prevent the transmission of dengue virus is to combat vector mosquitoes through:

  • preventing mosquitoes from accessing egg-laying habitats by environmental management and modification;
  • disposing of solid waste properly and removing artificial man-made habitats;
  • covering, emptying and cleaning of domestic water storage containers on a weekly basis;
  • applying appropriate insecticides to water storage outdoor containers;
  • using of personal household protection such as window screens, long-sleeved clothes, insecticide treated materials, coils and vaporizers;
  • improving community participation and mobilization for sustained vector control;
  • applying insecticides as space spraying during outbreaks as one of the emergency vector-control measures;
  • active monitoring and surveillance of vectors should be carried out to determine effectiveness of control interventions.