The Ministry of Health has called on people to be extra cautious of dengue fever in light of an early rainy season this year. Dr Ngan Chantha, director of the ministry's anti-dengue program, said the ministry was issuing an early emergency announcement in hopes of avoiding mass dengue fever infections. "Cambodia usually makes emergency announcements about dengue fever, and although I cannot predict whether dengue fever will increase in 2009, I want to tell all people to protect themselves, and especially their children, from infection now," he said. Ngan Chantha said the ministry plans to distribute more than 100 tonnes of preventative medicine in rural areas this month in a bid to curb infection rates. So far in 2009, two children have died from dengue fever and 750 children have contracted the infection, he said.