The Ministry of Health’s Communicable Disease Control Department (CDC) has advised people to be prepared to take precautions during the upcoming dry season in 2024, noting that temperatures are forecast to reach as high as 41 degrees Celsius. 

It recommended that vulnerable groups, such as children, pregnant women and the elderly in particular, should seek out shade and ensure they stay hydrated.

The ministry advised people to drink at least two litres of water a day, even if they do not feel thirsty.

People should avoid drinks that cause dehydration, such as alcohol, coffee, tea, and caffeinated and sugary drinks.

A December 26 announcement by the CDC stated that in addition to taking frequent cold baths, people should wear clothing that protects them from the sun. Clothing should be loose fitting and light coloured.

During the hot weather, people should stay in the shade and avoid prolonged exposure to direct sunlight.

“During the coming dry season, public health will become an issue. It is essential to protect ourselves from any potential health problems,” it said.

The announcement added that along with these instructions, people should monitor weather forecasts and health notifications from reliable sources.

It warned that the symptoms of some of the diseases associated with the hot season include fatigue, fainting, sweating, cold, sticky skin, a rapid pulse and nausea.

Nuth Sambath, president of the Institute of Medicine, Biology and Agriculture at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, said people should be prepared to protect their health as instructed by the health ministry and should be careful not to follow guidelines from inappropriate sources.

“People should not share information or treatment from unclear or unverifiable sources,” he said.

According to the forecasting of the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology, during next year’s February to early May dry season, the temperatures will gradually increase, with April-May temperatures tipped to reach as high as 41C.