In the first five months of this year, over 1,100 cases of dengue fever were reported in Cambodia, up from over 600 cases in the same period last year, with two deaths.
According to Dr. Leang Rithea, Director of the Ministry of Health’s National Dengue Fever Programme, 1,125 cases of dengue fever were reported from January to May, including two deaths.
This represents a 625-case increase over the same time period in 2021. There were 500 cases last year, but no deaths.
These numbers illustrate that dengue epidemics can hit at any time, necessitating people’s caution and cooperation in cleaning their local environment, particularly the area around their homes, and removing any receptacles that could collect water and be infected with mosquito eggs, he said.
Mosquitoes require water to lay eggs, which mature into adult mosquitoes that carry the disease, so water-collecting objects like cans, coconut shells, and car tyres must be removed and destroyed.
During the day and early evening, the disease’s principal agent, the tiger mosquito, feeds on a range of hosts, including humans.
Each community’s engagement is critical in limiting the spread of dengue fever and putting an end to a large-scale outbreak.
“While the ministry has produced medicines and serum in case of disease, individuals should remove receptacles, particularly discarded commodities left out in the open, to avoid their environment from becoming a mosquito breeding ground,” says the ministry. “It is the people’s responsibility to keep their surroundings clean in order to prevent dengue,” he said.
He acknowledged that climate change elements such as higher temperatures and more rain, which made mosquito breeding easier, contributed to the increase in dengue cases this year.
For the third year in a row, the disease has spread widely.
According to specialists, anyone who has signs of dengue fever, such as a rise in body temperature to 39 or 40 degrees Celsius, nausea or vomiting, abdominal discomfort, muscular ache, joint pain, red spots on the skin, or bleeding gums, should seek medical care as soon as possible.