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Measures introduced to prevent dengue fever outbreak

Mom Kunthear / Khmer Times Share:
Mothers bring their children for medical check-ups. KT/Mai Vireak

The Health Ministry has introduced five measures to prevent an outbreak of dengue fever this year and one official has appealed for everyone’s help implementing the measures.

Huy Rekol, director of the National Centre for Parasitology, Entomology and Malaria Control (CNM), said that everyone has to follow the instructions of the ministry to protect themselves from dengue fever as there could be an outbreak this year.

“Help get rid of mosquitoes and larvae and ensure there is nothing around your house that can hold water such as cans, old tires, jars and other things that can become a breeding ground for mosquitoes,” he said.

Other measures include cleaning your house, both inside and the surrounding area, and ensuring your house has enough light so mosquitoes cannot hide.

Homeowners also must cooperate with health officials to kill mosquitoes and larvae, Dr Rekol added.

“Protect yourself by sleeping in a mosquito net, both at night and during the day, wear a long shirt and do not sleep or sit in dark places,” he said, adding that people must follow the Health Ministry’s advice, which was disseminated through the media.

Dr Rekol said the last measure to prevent dengue fever was to quickly find a nearby health centre or hospital if anyone was sick with a temperature above 39 degrees Celsius, a face that turned red, a headache, muscle aches or red spots on the body.

“Any case that you suspect is dengue fever, do not try to self-treat, use aspirin or go anywhere that doesn’t have specialists in treating dengue. You must go to a health centre or hospital near your house or village,” he said.

The Health Ministry warned in February that dengue fever cases could spike this year after a fall in cases in 2017 when compared to 2016.The CNM has already prepared more than 350 tonnes of the larvicide BTI and more than 5,690 litres of insecticide throughout the country.

There were 6,372 cases of dengue fever in Cambodia in 2017. In 2016, there were 12,843 cases, with 18 deaths.

The Health Ministry has previously issued warnings to provincial health departments, instructing them to educate the public and take precautionary steps.

Ly Sovann, spokesman for the Health Ministry, said last week that dengue fever was a concern this year and called for people to be careful and pay attention to avoid getting the disease.

He said dengue fever outbreaks usually occurred every four or five years, and Cambodia’s last outbreak was in 2012.

There was no outbreak in 2016 and 2017 because the CNM worked hard to control it, Dr Sovann noted.

He added the Health Ministry and CNM were working to prevent an outbreak of dengue fever this year.

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