AUTHORITIES are warning the public to take extra precautions against dengue fever as the Kingdom heads into the rainy season – when the risk of contracting the potentially deadly mosquito-borne disease is at its highest.
Ngan Chantha, director of the National Anti-Dengue Programme at the Ministry of Health, said officials launched a campaign on Tuesday to raise public awareness of dengue fever.
“We want to remind people throughout the country to prevent dengue fever, even though the number of cases this year has not been high,” he said.
There have been 731 individual cases through May 17, marking a drop from the more than 1,000 cases recorded during the same period last year, Ngan Chantha said. Four deaths have been recorded this year.
However, the country records the vast majority of its yearly dengue cases and fatalities during the rainy months, when dengue-carrying mosquitoes have plenty of opportunity to breed in water.
Last year, authorities said 11,625 children under 15, the group most affected by the disease, contracted dengue. Of those, 36 died.
Officials plan to distribute 102 tonnes of Abate, a mosquito larvicide, in concert with the campaign, Ngan Chantha said.
Phnom Penh residents will be reminded to sleep under mosquito nets, wear long shirts and destroy mosquito habitats around their homes, said Sok Sokun, director of the municipal health department.
Health Minister Mam Bunheng also urged the public to be cautious.
“I want to suggest to all people to protect themselves, especially their children, from dengue fever,” he said, and warned that dengue cases could rise if prevention measures are not implemented.
“Clean the house. Kill mosquitoes. Sleep under mosquito nets and wear long shirts,” he said.