Seventy percent out of more than 100 children under observation at the Oddar Meanchey provincial referral hospital have been confirmed to be suffering from dengue fever.
Khlok Huot, provincial health department director, yesterday said that dengue fever cases are expected to rise during the rainy season and that most of the children being treated in the hospital have tested positive for dengue.
“The children complained of sore throat and colds so they were admitted as a precaution,” he said. “Among them 70 percent were confirmed to have dengue fever and we are monitoring the rest.”
Mr Hout said that provincial health officials are now distributing abate, which kills mosquito larvae, and educating the public about dengue fever and how to prevent its spread.
“We have advised them about keeping their surroundings clean, get rid of mosquito breeding spots such as puddles, and make sure their children wear long sleeved and thick clothing to protect them against mosquito bites,” he noted.
Mr Huot said that most of the children confirmed to be suffering from dengue fever came from the O’ Smach and Koun Kreal communes in Samraong city.
Dr Ouk Somethea, provincial referral hospital director, yesterday said that since the past 10 days 108 children were hospitalized for suspected dengue fever, confirming that 70 percent of them were confirmed to be suffering from the disease.
“These children are between four and 10 years old and their condition is not serious but are monitoring and treating them,” he said.
Dr Somethea noted that the hospital did not have enough rooms for such a sudden influx of so many patients and many of the children are being treated along corridors and in tents outside the entrance.
Leang Rithea, dengue control programme manager at the National Centre for Parasitology, Entomology and Malaria Control, yesterday said that there is a spike in dengue fever cases so far this year compared to the same period last year but he did not provide details.
He said that cases were being detected in the capital and Kandal, Siem Reap, Battambang, Kampong Speu, Kampong Thom and Preah Sihanouk provinces.
Mr Rithea noted that the Health Ministry is gearing up for a spike in dengue cases and has taken steps to address the problem.
He said these include preparing action plans and increasing public awareness on the disease.
“The ministry has prepared more than 200 tonnes of abate, if there is a shortage, we will add more,” Mr Rithea said. “We have also prepared about 70,000 intravenous drips, over 6,000 liters of mosquito spray, and thousands of leaflets on how to prevent the spread of dengue fever.”
“We began our preparations since the start of the year just as we have been doing so in the past,” he added.
On June 13, the ministry issued a press release urging the public and local authorities to jointly hold programmes to eradicate mosquito breeding grounds and reduce the threat of dengue.
It noted that the insects prefer to breed in stagnant water such as in discarded tyres or in puddles and that the disease is spread by the female Aedes mosquito.