The National Centre for Parasitology, Entomology and Malaria Control says that cases of dengue fever have increased this year, including the number of those who died from the virus.
CNM director Huy Rekol yesterday said there have been more than 15,000 recorded cases of dengue so far this year, an increase when compared to last year.
“So far this year, there have been 15,233 cases of dengue fever, which is about 50 percent higher when compared to last year’s 11,000 cases,” Mr Rekol said, noting that so far this year, a total of 16 people have died, an increase from last year’s 11 deaths.
He said that CNM finds Phnom Penh and the provinces of Preah Vihear, Siem Reap, Kandal and Kampong Chhnang to be the most challenging areas to curb the spread of dengue fever due to erratic weather patterns.
“The rate of deaths increased because family members did not send those affected for treatment in hospital on time,” Mr Rekol said. “Those affected were often treated at home until their condition became dire.”
He added that the CNM prepares about 350 tonnes of larvae killers per year and so far about 300 tonnes have been distributed to people living in areas most affected by floods.
“I think most of our people know about dengue fever, but I would like to remind them to clean up and get rid of mosquito larvae in stagnant water in and around homes,” he said. “These measures will prevent larvae from hatching. This has to be done every day.”
Mr Rekol recommends that everyone suspected of contracting the virus seek medical treatment at hospital.
Dengue is a virus that spreads through the bite of infected female mosquitoes. A mosquito can fly up to 400 metres while looking for stagnant water to lay their eggs.
The Ministry of Health warned of a possible spike early this year in February, when it noted that cases could rise after a fall last year.
A February report from the ministry said that in the first three weeks of 2018, there was a 130 percent spike in cases when compared to the first three weeks of 2017.
The report added that dengue fever outbreaks usually occur every five to six years.