As the first 21 weeks of the year saw more than three times the number of dengue fever cases recorded than in 2022, the Ministry of Health has issued preventative measures to the public and authorities at all levels across the Kingdom.
A total of 3,439 cases have been recorded so far this year, including five fatal cases. The same period last year saw just 1,140 cases, one of them fatal.
The June 13 instructions noted that national dengue surveillance systems have recorded a significant increase of transmissions, most notably in populous provinces with more construction sites.
The ministry said the most effective dengue treatment is prevention, which means eliminating any standing water that could serve as potential breeding grounds for the mosquitoes that carry the virus.
In order to prevent a large community outbreak, minister Mam Bun Heng called on people and authorities to prevent mosquito larvae from being born.
“The authorities and the public need to adopt the slogan: ‘My family and I are model citizens because our home is free of mosquito larvae’,” he urged.
In order to eradicate the habitats of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes – commonly found in urban settings and carry the virus that causes yellow fever – Bun Heng called on people to pay close attention to all potential bodies of standing water.
“Workers on construction sites in particular should make sure that there are no places where water can accumulate. If it is unavoidable, then chemicals must be employed to ensure that any larvae that are hatched do not develop,” he said.
He added that anyone whose temperature reached more than 38 degrees Celsius should be taken to a state medical facility immediately.
“It is important that local authorities, NGOs and state institutions cooperate closely with the National Dengue Control Programme [NDCP] to curb the risk of a large outbreak,” he said.
NDCP director Leang Rithea said he is concerned about the increase in cases and is carrying out measures to control its spread.
“We have implemented various measures to combat dengue fever. We have prepared 230 tonnes of anti-dengue larvicide Abate to kill yellow fever mosquitoes and 6,000 litres of chemical spray,” he added.
He explained that the highest number of cases have been reported in Kampong Cham, Kandal, Takeo, Tbong Khmum, Preah Vihear, Siem Reap and Preah Sihanouk provinces, along with Phnom Penh.
More than 40 cases have been reported in Preah Vihear province, with the highest number occurring in Kulen district, according to Kuong Lo, director of the provincial health department.
He said 45 cases had been recorded across the province, with 13 occurring in the last week. The 13 cases were all detected in two villages in Kulen district’s Srayong commune – seven in Srayong Cheung and six in Srayong Tbong.
“These cases differ from earlier ones, as previously there were just one or two in each village or district. Despite the increase in cases, the health department has been able to control the spread thus far, and no fatalities have been reported,” he added.
Provincial health officials are following the health ministry’s instructions, deploying mosquito traps in cisterns across the province and educating individuals on how to dispose of any waste that could hold water, like car and motorcycle tyres.
The department has also ensured that provincial clinics and hospitals have sufficient stocks of the appropriate medication.
“Our officials are well aware of how dengue is spread. They have also been spraying mosquito repellent in Srayong Cheung and Srayong Tbong villages to prevent the mosquitoes from spreading to other areas,” explained Lo.
Lo also urged people across the province to immediately visit their nearest hospital or health centre if they suspect they are experiencing any dengue fever symptoms.