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Parents urged to be cautious over dengue

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A baby being treated for dengue fever is fed at Kantha Bopha Hospital in Phnom Penh in 2013. Hong Menea

Parents urged to be cautious over dengue

The Health Ministry has urged parents who suspect their children to be suffering from dengue infections, to immediately send them to state-run hospitals for treatment. The call follows the death of 13 children due to dengue fever over the last eight months,

The ministry wants parents to take precautions after reporting that cases of dengue, which is transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes have spiked to 7,000 so far – much higher than last year.

“Parents should not try to treat their children with aspirin or take them to private hospitals if they suspect them of having dengue fever.

“Send them to a state hospital within 24 hours to get the necessary treatment on time,” said Leang Rithea, director of the ministry’s National Dengue Control Program (NDCP).

Public hospitals are well equipped with adequate medicines to treat patients, he stressed.

Despite the rising numbers, he downplayed a major dengue outbreak. “There is no large-scale outbreak of the fever in the Kingdom so far, even though the incidents are higher than last year,” said Rithea.

The ministry said dengue fever cases rise once every three to five years. The World Health Organisation (WHO) describes dengue as a public health problem in Cambodia, with 14,000 cases annually.

The worst outbreak occurred in 2007 when 39,851 cases and 407 deaths were reported, said the WHO website.

Based on the ministry’s report, the first 26 weeks of this year saw 5,284 dengue cases reported – an increase of 3,704 cases or about 77 per cent compared with 1,580 cases registered last year.

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