WITH more than 4,600 patients hospitalised from dengue so far this year and outbreaks in seven provinces, the National Dengue Control Programme is calling for heightened vigilance during the remainder of the rainy season, when the mosquito-borne disease is most prevalent.
Parents should immediately take children suffering from a high fever to the nearest health centre or hospital for treatment, NDCP director Dr Ngan Chantha said yesterday, explaining that early and appropriate treatment was critical for preventing dengue haemorrhagic fever, which can be fatal.
According to the NDCP, 4,626 patients, primarily children, were hospitalised in the first 27 weeks of this year, compared to 2,888 in the same period last year. Twenty-three had died, compared to nine in the same period last year. The most serious outbreaks are in Kampong Thom, Kampong Cham, Siem Reap, Kandal and Kampong Speu and Banteay Meanchey provinces, Ngan Chantha said.
“The situation is not out of control,” he said, noting that during the first 27 weeks of 2009 almost 5,200 patients had been hospitalised.
There remained, however, a possibility that the swiftly spreading disease could spiral out of control if communities failed to eliminate mosquito-breeding sites and individuals failed to protect themselves from mosquito bites, he said.
The mosquito that transmits dengue bites during the day, so it is necessary to keep napping infants under a mosquito net, and for other children (as well as adults) to wear long sleeve shirts, he said.