Cambodia sees significant rise in dengue fever cases: official

File photo from Xinhua

PHNOM PENH -- Cambodia had reported 4,668 dengue fever cases in the first half of 2023, a sharp increase of 62.7 percent from 2,869 cases over the same period last year, a health official said on Thursday.

"The disease claimed 10 lives during the January-June period this year, slightly up from seven deaths in the same period last year," Leang Rithea, National Dengue Program manager and deputy director of the National Center for Parasitology and Malaria Control, told Xinhua.

He said the capital Phnom Penh and the provinces of Kandal, Tboung Khmum, Banteay Meanchey and Siem Reap recorded the highest numbers of dengue cases.

"Stagnant water acts as a breeding ground for mosquitoes, which are the primary carriers of the dengue virus. By neglecting to clean or change the water, individuals provide an ideal environment for mosquitoes to reproduce, leading to a higher risk of dengue transmission," he said.

The official said another reason for this increase was that the disease generally increases cyclically every five years. He recalled that the last big outbreak was in 2019 and recorded more than 60,000 dengue cases, killing more than 40 people.

"Now, we are at year 4 following this last outbreak year; therefore, the probability of dengue outbreak is quite high this year and even in the next two years," Rithea said. "The participation from all sectors is crucial to mitigate the impact of potential dengue outbreak in Cambodia."

Dengue fever is a viral disease transmitted through the bite of infected Aedes mosquitoes. The disease causes an acute illness that usually follows symptoms such as headache, high fever, exhaustion, severe muscle and joint pain, swollen glands, vomiting and rash.

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