Vientiane (VNA) - While COVID-19 remains under control in Laos, dengue fever has continued to be an issue in the country, with 4,256 cases, including nine deaths, between January 1 and August 2.

The Lao Ministry of Health said in a press release on August 3 that all 18 cities and provinces in the country have reported cases of dengue fever.

The highest number of patients was 974, in Vientiane capital, followed by Bolikhamxay province with 515, Vientiane province 447, and Attapeu province 371.

The nine deaths included four in Vientiane capital, two in Bolikhamxay, and one each in Khammouane, Xayaboury, and Xieng Khouang provinces.

Facing an outbreak, Lao health authorities have urged people to clear potential mosquito breeding sites around their homes and workplaces to help control the spread of the disease.

People have also been recommended to visit medical establishments for check-ups if they fall ill.

Dengue fever is a major challenge for Laos’ health sector. It recorded 74 fatalities among more than 37,000 cases of infection last year, with the number of deaths up four-fold against 2018 despite disease prevention efforts being implemented.

According to the World Health Organisation, dengue fever is one of the most rapidly-spreading viral diseases known to humankind, with Thailand, Laos, the Philippines, and Singapore also seeing high incidences.

The number of cases in the western Pacific Region has more than doubled over the past 10 years./.