With four people having now died from dengue fever in Kratie and Ratanakkiri, three of whom were children, the provincial health departments are spraying and distributing insecticide to target the Aedes aegypti mosquito that carries the virus.
The measures come as three people, two children and an adult, were reported to have died from dengue in Kratie province, and a 12-year-old girl succumbing to the disease in Ratanakkiri.
Chhneang Sovutha, the director of the Kratie provincial department of health, told The Post on Monday that Cambodia has entered the year’s peak cycle for dengue.
As of Monday, there had been 442 cases of dengue in the province, with Snuol and Chitr Borei districts the most heavily affected.
“Of the 442 dengue fever patients, three died, two of whom were children and one an adult. The deaths resulted from the victims’ families using unprescribed medicine to lower their temperature. They were late in sending the patients to the hospital, meaning doctors were unable to save them,” he said.
Sovutha said the provincial department of health officials are continuing to work with relevant institutions and authorities to spray insecticide to kill the Aedes aegypti mosquito and its larvae in villages.
The insecticide, which is not harmful to humans, is also being distributed to residents in areas facing outbreaks while information on preventative measures and halting the breeding of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are being disseminated to villagers.
“To prevent being bitten by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, we must sleep in insecticide-treated mosquito nets and make sure rooms are well lit, either naturally or by having the lights on."
“To combat the mosquito, you must get rid of mosquito larvae and their breeding grounds, especially containers that can hold stagnant water,” he said.
Ratanakkiri provincial health department director Ung Ratana also pointed to tyres holding water as breeding grounds for the mosquito.
“To eliminate the breeding grounds of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, we must improve hygiene and the environment around where we live and must ensure there is nothing inside or near our houses that can hold water."
“In particular, we must prevent mosquito larvae from breeding in the water jars and containers that we use daily. No mosquito larvae, no Aedes aegypti mosquito; no Aedes aegypti mosquito, no dengue fever,” he stressed.
There had been 256 reported cases of dengue in Ratanakkiri as of Tuesday, with around 75 per cent of patients continuing to receive treatment in hospital, while a 12-year-old girl from Veun Sai commune’s Kralanh Nhay village died from the disease last week, he added.