20 August 2013: Dengue fever is spreading at an alarming rate among the small population of the Lao People's Democratic Republic (PDR). The epidemic is the worst of its kind in the country’s history, with cases reported in all 17 provinces. Seventy per cent of the 77 deaths reported have been children under age 15.
The Government has reported 36,000 cumulative cases of dengue since the beginning of 2013. The number of cases is expected to surge during the rainy season, which runs from August to October. Historically, dengue peaks in September of each year. According to the latest projection by the World Health Organization, Lao PDR could have in the range of 61,000 to 120,000 dengue cases with 100 to 500 deaths for the year without immediate and more effective interventions.
Sustaining the existing interventions is critical for a successful response to the dengue epidemic. For this reason, the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) has allocated US$753,504 to the World Health Organization (WHO) to increase the capacity for clinical management and community vector control as the disease surges across the country. CERF funds will be used to serve more than 4.7 million individuals in the 11 provinces with the highest incidence of dengue. .