PHNOM PENH, June 27 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia reported 13,000 cases of dengue fever from January to June 24, about five-fold rise over the same period last year, Huy Rekol, director of the National Center for Parasitology, Entomology and Malaria Control, said on Thursday.
"Dengue virus has killed 24 people so far this year, up from only seven deaths over the same period last year," he said in a press conference here.
"The fatal cases happened because parents had sent their ill children to hospitals very late, five or six days after they had infected with the virus," he said.
Rekol appealed to parents to take their sick children to health centers or state hospitals within 48 hours if they suspected that their kids were infected with a dengue virus.
In a bid to control the outbreak of the virus, about 300 tons of Abate (a chemical substance used to put in water pots to kill larvae) has been handed out to households, he said, adding that health officials have also been spraying insecticide to target Aedes mosquitoes which are the carrier of the dengue virus.
Rekol also urged households to fill in puddles around their houses, saying that they are sources of mosquitoes.
Dengue fever is a viral disease transmitted through the bite of an Aedes mosquito which is a day-biting mosquito. Its symptoms include sudden onset of high fever which can last from three to seven days, severe headache, exhaustion, muscle pain, vomiting and rash.
In Cambodia, the peak of dengue epidemic period is in the rainy season from May to October.
According to a health ministry report, there were 24,684 cases of dengue fever with 23 deaths last year compared with 6,372 cases with three deaths in 2017.