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Dengue Fever Deaths on Rise for 2015


A nurse checks a dengue fever patient.

A nurse checks a dengue fever patient.

Dengue fever has killed at least 16 people so far this year, an uptick from the same period last year, health officials say. The deaths are the result of nearly 4,700 infections.

In 2014, 12 people died from the disease, from around 1,750 infections. Health authorities say the disease appears in cycles, with very high numbers seen in 2012, which had 189 deaths, and 2007, which had 407.

“It’s not only in Cambodia that the number has increased,” said Leang Rithea, the national dengue control program manager at the Ministry of Health. “It also has in Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines.”

The best prevention is to get rid of standing water where mosquitoes carrying the disease can breed, such as open cisterns or truck wheels where rainwater gathers, Leang Rithea said.

July and August are typically the months where dengue infections spike, he said. Parents should be especially vigilant and bring their children to health centers if they have a fever.

The provinces with the highest prevalence are: Siem Reap, Kampong Thom, Kampong Cham, Kandal, Battambang and Oddor Meanchey, along with Phnom Penh, he said.

Keo Vannak, director of Tbong Khmum provincial health department, said the number of infected cases in his province has increased compare to last year.

“We still have another four months to go,” he said. “We have sent trucks out to spread the educational message. We have sent groups to explain them at their houses. Working groups at health centers are very busy now.”

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