Credit: WHO/Dr. Luo
Via OCHA: Lao PDR: Lethal dengue fever outbreak kills 92. Excerpt:
Dao* [not his real name] writhes in pain as his worried family waits for doctors in an overcrowded hospital in Vientiane, the capital of Lao PDR. Dao is suffering from dengue, a tropical disease which is spread by the bite of the Aedes aegypti mosquito.
Dao is one of nearly 50,000 people in Lao PDR who have been infected during this year’s unprecedented dengue epidemic. The outbreak is the worst of its kind in the country’s history, with cases reported in all 17 provinces. Alarmingly, around 70 per cent of the 92 deaths reported this year have been children under the age of 15.
The number of cases this year is four times higher than in 2010 and 11 times higher than last year. The reasons for this are unclear, though health officials suspect that irregular rainfall may be partly responsible. In a normal year, heavy rains from August to October help wash away larva and flush out breeding areas, reducing the number of mosquitoes. These rains have yet to arrive this year.The photo shows dengue patients in a hospital in southern Laos. Clearly, public health resources are inadequate for the demands being imposed on them.