Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Dengue cases on rise this year, claim 16 lives

Dengue cases on rise this year, claim 16 lives

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Health officials get rid of mosquitoes in Koh Kong province on November 1. PHOTO SUPPLIED

Dengue cases on rise this year, claim 16 lives

So far this year, Cambodia has recorded at least 9,482 cases of dengue fever – a nearly tenfold increase over the same period in 2021 – with 16 deaths, all of them children under the age of 15.

Leang Rithy – director of the National Dengue Control Programme (NDCP) at the National Centre for Parasitology, Entomology and Malaria Control (CNM) – told The Post on November 3 that the number of dengue cases this year is likely to rise even more by the end of the year, noting that cases appeared to be on the increase in Phnom Penh and the provinces of Pursat and Siem Reap.

“The reason for the increase is the continuous rainfall and the receding floodwaters,” he said.

Rithy said dengue usually occurs in crowded places, but can also occur in remote villages if dirty water is left standing.

He called on the public to take basic precautions and clean their homes diligently – especially water jars. They should make sure they allow plenty of sunlight into their house and be wary of letting any water stand, lest mosquitoes breed in it.

“Please pay attention to cleaning your home and the surrounding space at least twice a week. Cover your water jars and throw away anything that could provide a habitat for Aedes albopictus, the tiger mosquito that carries the dengue virus,” he said.

Rithy added that the mosquito could travel up to 150m so there is a risk of infection if anyone living nearby has contracted the disease.

He urged people to get to a hospital or health clinic if anyone has a high temperature.

Chanpanha Ip Phearun, a venerable monk Khnachormeas pagoda who also serves as deputy director of Khnachormeas Buddhist Primary School, said that from November 1-3, 50 monks had reported fevers and severe headaches and were sent to hospital as they were suspected of having contracted dengue fever. But doctors later confirmed that they were only suffering from flu.

Rithy of the NDCP said the health ministry has prepared 70,000 tablets of serum this year for the prevention of dengues, along with 400 tonnes of Abate.

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