Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Dengue scare in Kampong Speu not an outbreak, official claims



Dengue scare in Kampong Speu not an outbreak, official claims

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A child receives treatment for dengue fever at the National Paediatric Hospital in Phnom Penh last year. At an orphanage in Kampong Speu province, seven children have been diagnosed with the disease. Hong Menea

Dengue scare in Kampong Speu not an outbreak, official claims

Official have confirmed that although seven children have been diagnosed with dengue fever at an orphanage in Kampong Speu province, it does not constitute an outbreak. The children had mild dengue fever and are completely cured.

Kampong Speu provincial health department director Or Vanthen told The Post on Thursday that there are 75 children under the age of 10 at the orphanage in Phum 1 Village, Treng Trayoeng commune.

The density raised fears of transmission and an outbreak of the infectious disease.

Vanthen said the seven children were infected because the centre is located near a forest and did not properly store garbage, such as cans or bottles, which can store water during the rainy season, leading to mosquito breeding.

“In Kampong Speu province, there are a few cases. Some villages have only one or two cases. When it happens like in the orphanage, it concerns us and we must take urgent steps to prevent it. We have assigned a team to spray mosquito insecticide in the centre’s area and the village,” he said.

National Dengue Disease Control Programme director Leang Rithy told The Post on Thursday that Kampong Speu provincial health officials had reported the infections as an outbreak of dengue fever.

But after visiting the site, he concluded it was just an isolated case and not an outbreak of the disease.

“Last year we were doing well and keeping people informed and engaged. In 24 weeks there have been only 2,907 dengue cases, 86 per cent fewer than last year. So I wondered why now, which is why I went and checked,” Vathern said.

He said there has been no outbreak in any province in the country, but the disease is of great concern.

In 2019, there were 48 deaths from 68,597 infected people in Cambodia. That was three times more than in 2018.

The Ministry of Health has prepared more than 250 tons of asbestos, over 6,000 litres of insecticide and nearly 100,000 sets of serum, which is adequate for this year, Rithy said.

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