A report released last week by the National Center for Parasitology, Entomology and Malaria Control (CNM) reports 502 cases of dengue fever in the first 16 weeks of 2015, a 67 per cent increase from the same period last year.
Dated May 6, the report notes that 300 cases of the mosquito-borne disease were documented by CNM in 2014’s first four months. Of cases recorded this year, 80 per cent were in Phnom Penh, Kandal province, Siem Reap province, Kampong Thom province, Prey Veng province, Banteay Meanchey province and Kampong Cham province. Only one case, so far, was fatal.
CNM director Dr Huy Rekol said that while he believes there has been an uptick in dengue cases this year, an increased focus on documenting dengue infections is likely a factor in the large increase.
“This [increase] is maybe related to . . . designing the national dengue [monitoring] system,” Rekol said in an interview yesterday. “Because of the national dengue [monitoring] system, the data is greater.”
One of the tactics introduced this year is the inclusion of health workers from the private sector, Rekol said. Private practitioners must now report all dengue cases they treat to CNM.
In addition, efforts to ramp up public awareness about dengue, prevention measures and the severity of the ailment is causing people to recognise the symptoms and receive medical attention sooner.
“The data is an improvement, and the awareness of the people, they understand the seriousness of the dengue disease,” Rekol said. “So they contact health care providers faster than before.”