Dengue fever has reached alarming levels in Cambodia, with a sharp increase in cases compared to the previous year. Between January and September 2023, the country reported a staggering 21,568 cases, marking a 184 percent rise from the same period in 2022. Tragically, 38 individuals have lost their lives to this disease during this period, a significant increase from the previous year’s 14 deaths.
In response to this concerning trend, the Ministry of Health has taken proactive measures to combat the spread of dengue fever. Health Minister Chheang Ra has instructed provincial health departments to distribute Abate, a chemical substance used to eliminate mosquito larvae, and conduct widespread insecticide spraying since August. This collaborative effort with development partners and organizations aims to curtail the outbreak of dengue fever and minimize its impact on the population.
Dengue fever is a viral illness transmitted through the bite of the Aedes mosquito, known for its day-biting habits. Its symptoms include severe headache, high fever, fatigue, muscle and joint pain, swollen glands, vomiting, and skin rash. Seeking timely medical attention is crucial, and parents are strongly advised to seek medical care for their children within 48 hours if they suspect dengue infection.
To address the issue at the grassroots level, authorities have urged households to eliminate potential breeding sites for mosquitoes by removing stagnant water around their homes. Stagnant water sources serve as breeding grounds for Aedes mosquitoes, contributing to the rapid spread of the disease. It is important to note that dengue fever in Cambodia is seasonal, with the peak of the epidemic occurring during the rainy season from May to October.
The Ministry of Health has issued warnings through local media outlets, emphasizing the rise of dengue fever and urging the population to take immediate preventive measures. Adhering to five key principles and measures can help mitigate the risk of dengue fever: destroying mosquito larvae, maintaining cleanliness and proper maintenance of construction sites, preventing discarded car tires from becoming breeding grounds, keeping homes clean and well-lit, and seeking immediate medical attention if symptoms appear.
This year, the highest number of dengue cases has been reported in Phnom Penh, as well as in the provinces of Kandal, Tboung Khmum, Banteay Meanchey, and Siem Reap. As Cambodia faces this surge in dengue fever cases, public awareness and concerted efforts to eliminate mosquito breeding sites remain crucial in the fight against this deadly disease. Stay updated with the latest Dengue News by visiting Thailand Medical News.