VIENTIANE, July 18 (Xinhua) -- Laos is facing an outbreak of the most virulent form of the dengue virus during the rainy season.
The Lao National Center for Laboratory and Epidemiology has determined that dengue virus serotype 2 and 4 are the causative organisms of more than 14,000 recorded cases of dengue, which have resulted in 31 deaths so far, local daily Vientiane Times reported on Thursday.
The serotype 2 causes hemorrhagic fever, which has a high mortality rate and an analysis of the type 2 strain showed that the virus has mutated.
Lao Minister of Health Bounkong Syhavong said Vientiane is experiencing an outbreak of the type 2 dengue virus, the most toxic type. Champasak, Savannakhet and other southern provinces have also recorded cases involving type 2 virus.
"At this time of the year, if people fall ill, they should suspect that dengue is the cause of their illness and get a blood test at a hospital," he said.
"People infected with the type 2 virus can become dangerously ill within two days instead of four or five days," he added.
There has been a huge increase in the number of dengue cases recorded in Laos this year. On Tuesday, 14,242 cases and 31 fatalities were reported, while 6,446 cases and 19 deaths were recorded in 2018.
Bounkong said the Lao Ministry of Health is encouraging the public to make sure that all stagnant water is removed in order to prevent dengue-carrying mosquitoes from breeding. The ministry is also stressing the need for correct diagnoses to be made and effective treatment to be administered.
Dengue is caused by four viruses, namely DENV 1, 2, 3 and 4. The dengue virus is spread by the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito and causes a wide spectrum of conditions from mild asymptomatic illness to severe fatal dengue hemorrhagic fever or dengue shock syndrome.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that about 2.5 billion people live in dengue risk groups with about 100 million new cases each year worldwide.
According to the WHO, climate change and global warming will increase vector-borne diseases such as dengue. Dengue has become the most rapidly spreading mosquito-borne viral disease in the world.