Fifty people have died from dengue fever in the first 10 months of this year, a decrease of 72 percent on the same period last year when 176 deaths were recorded, the National Center for Parasitology, Entomology and Malaria Control said Monday.
Continuing a month-on-month trend, the number of reported dengue cases from January to October is also significantly down on last year’s figures, dropping 59 percent from 40,164 cases to 16,326, the center’s director, Char Meng Chuor, said in a statement.
Outbreaks of dengue usually coincide with the onset of the rainy season from May until October, as the virus is transmitted by the Aedes mosquito, which breed in pools of stagnant water that must be regularly treated in order to prevent the larvae growing.
Mr. Meng Chuor said that severe flooding caused by recent heavy rains may have had an impact this year as fast moving water flushed the larvae away, however he said that despite the decrease in cases it was vital for families in areas where water had receded to be extra vigilant.
“Though we haven’t seen a significant presence nationwide as of the end of October, it is important families treat residual pools of water under and around their homes with the pesticide Abate and get rid of any pools of water that may harbor the larvae, such as in containers and old tires,” he said, adding that larger still-flooded areas would be too expensive to treat.
Despite Cambodia recording a welcome decrease in infections, many countries in the region have seen a sharp jump in reported cases. Laos has seen a massive 653 percent increase on last year, Singapore a rise of 407 percent, while an outbreak in the first six months of 2013 saw infections in Thailand almost double that of Cambodia, according the report.
“Interventions have been the key reason why Cambodia is seeing an alleviation in dengue cases and resulting deaths, while communities are working together to ensure sick children are taken to the local hospital to be treated,” Mr. Meng Chuor said.
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