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Increase in dengue reported in Siem Reap

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Women take young children for dengue treatment last year. Hong Menea

Increase in dengue reported in Siem Reap

The Angkor Hospital for Children (AHC) has expressed its concerns over an increase in severe dengue cases in Siem Reap province. AHC admitted 265 children infected with the virus in the past two months alone, which is more than all of last year, according to an AHC statement issued on Friday.

“Due to an increased need for inpatient care, some patients are on extra mattresses in the hospital’s halls. AHC welcomes donations and support for dengue patients,” the hospital said.

AHC Chief Executive Officer Dr Claudia Turner told The Post on Sunday that every day more and more children are being infected by the dengue virus and need to be sent to the hospital. Severe dengue cases have been increasing as well, which has caused concern.

“Our inpatient department has added seven beds. Mattresses now line our hallway floor to care for the influx of patients. We have treated more dengue cases so far than in all of 2018, and we refuse to turn the most vulnerable children away,” she told The Post.

Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine could not be reached for comment on the issue.

Siem Reap provincial Department of Health director Kros Sarath told The Post on Sunday that his department would take action to prevent an outbreak of dengue and raise public awareness of the issue.

AHC medical director Dr Ngeth Pises told The Post on Sunday that his hospital had trained its medical staff on the proper procedures to treat dengue prior to the outbreak.

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Mothers bring their babies to Kantha Bopha Hospital for dengue treatment. Hong Menea

It has taken further measures such as adding more beds, hiring more employees and preparing blood for transfusions and medication to treat dengue patients.

“During the last couple of months, we have seen more dengue patients than in January and February. Dengue is a seasonal disease. Every year, there is a surge of the disease in June, July and August. However, in 2019, there was a surge at the beginning of the year – which was oddly different from 2017 and 2018,” Dr Pises said.

He said the increase in dengue cases can be attributed to factors such as climate change and rain, adding that the patients’ conditions will improve if they go to a hospital on time and receive medical care.

“We are well aware that our hospital does not charge people. When the number of patients increases, our expenditures are higher than normal,” he said, adding that AHC is raising donations to fund medicines and medical staff for working overtime.

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