Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Dengue outbreak sees 1,691 kids hospitalised in a month

Dengue outbreak sees 1,691 kids hospitalised in a month

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Doctors treat a patient at the Kantha Bopha hospital in Phnom Penh in July 2017. Sahiba Chawdhary

Dengue outbreak sees 1,691 kids hospitalised in a month

A total of 1,691 children were hospitalised at Kantha Bopha Children’s Hospital between October 21 and November 21 after an outbreak of haemorrhagic dengue fever.

Another 1,626 children were hospitalised at other Kantha Bopha hospitals during the same period, according to a report from the hospital obtained by The Post on Wednesday.

The report said the period saw the hospitalisation of 626 more children due to the disease than between September 21 and October 21. Of those, 140 children suffered from severe acute encephalitis, which is occasionally caused by haemorrhagic dengue fever.

The report said a total of 75,645 children were treated as outpatients at the hospital. Of the number, 14,650 were hospitalised and 2,285 had to undergo surgery – 53 had heart operations and interventional catheterisations.

In the maternity ward of Jayavarman VII Hospital (Kantha Bopha III in Siem Reap province) 13,868 women were examined and treated as outpatients while 2,365 deliveries took place during the same period.

The Ministry of Health’s Department of Planning and Health Information director Lo Veasnakiry and the ministry’s Communicable Disease Control Department director Ly Sovann could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.

According to a ministry report issued on August 28, the first 26 weeks of this year saw 5,284 cases of haemorrhagic dengue fever – up 3,704 (77 per cent) compared to the same period last year.

The report said 13 people, mostly children, died from the disease during the first seven months this year, allegedly because the parents or guardians were too late in seeking medical treatment.

The ministry said with the rapid spread of haemorrhagic dengue fever, the authorities could not control the situation completely.

According to its 2017 year-end report, there were a total of 6,372 haemorrhagic dengue fever cases reported last year and 12,483 in 2016. Most of the cases occurred in children.

There were 2,434 cases involving children between the ages of five and 10 (38.2 per cent), 2,271 cases involving those between 10 and 15 (35.6 per cent), 1,305 cases involving those under five (10.7 per cent) and 362 cases affecting those over 15 (5.6 per cent).

The cases were fairly spread across gender, with 3,264 (51.2 per cent) boys and 3,106 (48.80 per cent) girls.

Among the 6,372 reported cases, Kantha Bopha hospitals in Phnom Penh received 2,984 cases, the National Pediatric Hospital of Cambodia (1,176), Jayavarman VII hospitals in Siem Reap (1,332), Angkor Hospital for Children (313), and the remaining 567 cases were received by 25 other hospitals throughout the country.

Based on the density rate, 38.2 out of 100,000 people suffered from haemorrhagic dengue fever last year – a more than a 50 per cent drop from 2016.

The provinces with high density rates of between 160 and 1,000 out of 100,000 people for the all 52 weeks of last year were Preah Vihear, Siem Reap, Oddar Meanchey, Banteay Meanchey and Phnom Penh.

The death rate from haemorrhagic dengue fever last year was only three (0.05 per cent) compared to 38 (0.2 per cent) in 2016.

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