VIENTIANE， Jan. 25 (Xinhua) -- Lao health authorities have admitted that the outbreak of dengue fever is higher this year compared to the same period in 2016.
From Jan. 1 to 24 this year， 70 dengue fever infections have been recorded in Lao capital Vientiane， while in the same period last year there were no reports of any outbreaks， Head of Epidemiology Division under the Vientiane Health Department Chanthalay Sayavong said on Wednesday.
The news comes with 12 out of 18 provinces in the country reporting dengue fever at alarming epidemic levels though no deaths have been recorded from a total of 235 reported cases following a nationwide outbreak this year， according to Lao state-run Vientiane Times.
"Openly reporting outbreaks was part of the plan in responding to dengue. We acknowledge that increasing public awareness is one of the main strategies to reduce the risk of dengue transmission，" Chanthalay was quoted as saying， adding that local officials and health authorities are urging people to clear potential mosquito breeding sites around their homes and workplaces to help curb the spread of the virus.
The activities were focused on long-term prevention rather than solely treatment. In particular， local communities needed to keep their surroundings clean， while focusing on killing mosquitoes and their larva inside and near these areas， he added.
According to Lao National Center for Laboratory and Epidemiology， there were 1，950 dengue cases nationwide in 2016， in which seven people reportedly died. Southern Champassak province reported the highest number of fatalities with six deaths while Salavan province reported the other death. Enditem