VIENTIANE, Feb. 23 (Xinhua) -- Altogether 14 people died in a nationwide outbreak of dengue fever in 2017 with the capital of Vientiane having the most cases last year.
So far this year in 2018, there have not been any reported deaths, according to the Communicable Disease Control Department under the Lao Health Ministry, local daily Vientiane Times reported Friday.
The update was reported at a meeting to summarize the work of the Ministry of Health over the past year and discuss the plans for 2018 on Thursday.
According to a report from the Communicable Disease Control Department, some 5,584 cases of dengue fever, including the 14 deaths, were recorded in 2017 with 16 of the nation's 18 provinces reporting cases.
In 2016, there were 5,618 cases of dengue fever in the country with 10 deaths, according to the department.
Speaking at the meeting, Deputy Minister Phouthone said the work of prevention and control of dengue fever is a priority of the Lao Health Ministry.
"Dengue fever has been recorded around the country with 14 people reportedly killed, and this number is still too high," said the Lao official.
Officials and local health authorities will concentrate promoting the regular emptying of containers that collect standing water, and the clearing of any undergrowth around homes, said Phouthone.
Dengue is an infectious tropical disease transmitted by mosquitoes and characterized by rashes, severe headaches and pain in the joints. The mosquitoes doing the damage are the Aedesaegypti and Aedesalbopictus species.