VIENTIANE, Sept. 24 (Xinhua) -- The Lao Ministry of Health urged authorities and the Lao people to remain vigilant and help control the spread of dengue fever.
A total of 6,611 people has been diagnosed with dengue fever and 12 deaths were recorded since January, Latsamy Vongkhamsao, deputy director general of the Department of Communicable Disease Control under the Lao Ministry of Health, told a press conference in the Lao capital Vientiane on Thursday.
The highest number of dengue patients were reported in Vientiane with 1,546, while 741 cases were recorded in Bolikhamxai province, and 659 cases wee confirmed in Bokeo province.
The 12 deaths included four in Vientiane, two in Bolikhamxai and Khammuan respectively, and one each in Xayabboury, Xieng Khuang, Savannakhet and Phongsaly.
The Lao Ministry of Health advised that every family should drain water that collects in jars, vases and dishes, and should cover such containers to prevent more water from filling them up.
If people fall ill, they should suspect that dengue may be the cause of their illness and get a blood test at a hospital.
According to the World Health Organization, dengue fever is one of the fastest emerging infections, 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. Enditem