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Health ministry warns dengue and Covid-19 a dangerous mix

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A child receives treatment for dengue fever at the National Pediatric Hospital in 2019. Hong Menea

Health ministry warns dengue and Covid-19 a dangerous mix

As of May 20, cases of dengue fever in Cambodia for 2021 had risen to nearly 600 across the country with one death.

Health officials have called on people to remain cautious though so far this year the outbreak has not been widespread.

“People developing dengue fever across the country in early 2021 numbered 581, with one death,” according to the dengue control programme at the national centre for parasitology, entomology and malaria control of the Ministry of Health on May 20.

The majority of dengue fever cases this year have been in Phnom Penh and Kandal province due to the large number of people who reside there. The disease is spread by infected mosquitoes.

Leang Rithea, the dengue control programme manager at the health ministry, told The Post on May 20 that dengue fever becomes more prevalent during the rainy season and people should remain vigilant.

He stated that it could be very dangerous for people if they catch covid-19 and dengue fever at the same time.

“Brothers and sisters, please continue to live a sanitary life in clean environments. If you suspect that you have a fever get checked at the hospital. We must be wary of covid but we must not forget dengue,” he said.

According to the forecast for 2021, no large-scale outbreak of dengue fever is expected this year. However, Rithea said that the health ministry would distribute 160 tonnes of anti-dengue larvicide across the country to kill mosquitoes.

The ministry has also prepared 60,000 vials of serum for the treatment of dengue fever across the country.

In the year 2019, Cambodia recorded 48 deaths from dengue fever out of 68,597 cases. The number that year had increased threefold compared to 2018. Rithea said that the increase in 2019 was an event that happened once every five to six years or 10-12 years in a regular pattern.

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