Dengue Outbreak in Kratie Has Health Officials Worried

The Ministry of Health is fighting to contain a dengue fever outbreak after three children died from the virus in Kratie province recently, bringing the total number of fatalities so far this year up to six and a total of 2,032 recorded cases of dengue infection, health officials said Tuesday.

“I am concerned about the outbreak. Now I’m on my way to Kra-

tie,” Dr Ngan Chantha, the Health Ministry’s dengue program manager said, adding that three children have died in Kratie province in the last few weeks, one of whom passed away on Sunday.

“The fatal case on Sunday in Kratie is due to the fact that the parents sent their 5-year-old toddler to the private clinic,” Dr Chantha said, adding that private medical clinics sometimes cannot treat the patients properly.

“Most of the fatal cases are due to the recklessness of the parents. After their children get sick they should send them to the public hospital, but not a private clinic,” he said.

The total of 2,032 reported den-

gue cases so far this year is higher compared to the same period last year, when there were 1,502 reported cases; however the number of fatalities, which had reached 16 by June 2008, is much lower this year, Dr Chantha said.

Education campaigns on radio and TV that teach people to de-

stroy potential mosquito breeding sites and informing parents to bring their children to public hospitals quickly in case of fever is responsible for the reduced death rate, he said.

Now that the rainy season is under way the government needs people to cooperate to prevent the virus from spreading, he added.

“People cause the disease, so we have to stop it by making our environment clean, and the parents have to be careful with their children’s health,” he continued.

Cheam Saem, Kratie provincial health department director, said he knew of only two fatal cases of dengue in his province this year, but concurred that the number of infections was down due to the education campaign.

In 2007, a year marked by a severe dengue outbreak, the number of infections by June stood at 9,110 dengue cases and 132 deaths, mostly of children.



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