KUALA LUMPUR, July 18 — Laos is currently in the midst of an epidemic involving the most virulent form of the dengue virus.
Serotype 2 and 4 of the dengue virus has been found to be responsible for more than 14,000 cases thus far. There have already been 31 deaths.
This represents a massive increase in the number of dengue cases recorded this year. In 2018, 6,446 cases and 19 deaths were recorded.
Minister of Health Bounkong Syhavong was reported by the Vientiane Times as saying that Vientiane was experiencing an outbreak of the most toxic type of the virus, serotype 2. Several other southern provinces have also recorded similar cases.
This type causes hemorrhagic fever, which has a high mortality rate. Further analysis of the strain by the Lao National Center for Laboratory and Epidemiology, found that the virus had already mutated.
The dengue virus has four subtypes, DENV 1, 2, 3 and 4. It is spread by the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito. It can cause mild illness to severe fatal dengue hemorrhagic fever or dengue shock syndrome.