Thursday, December 4, 2008

Cambodian officials warn of widespread dengue in 2009

Cambodian officials warn of widespread dengue in 2009

PHNOM PENH, Dec. 4 (Xinhua) -- Cambodian health officials have warned of a possible outbreak of dengue fever next year as the number of children seeking treatment continues into the disease's low season, state media reported Thursday.

"Everyday, the hospital still receives more than 20 children with dengue fever," Lam Eng Hour, deputy director of Phnom Penh's Kantha Bopha children's hospital, was quoted by the Phnom Penh Post as saying.

"We are worried this is a sign that the number (of infections) will be higher next year," he added.

According to Lam Eng Hour, Kantha Bopha hospitals in both Phnom Penh and Siem Reap have received 5,552 dengue cases so far this year, of which 43 have been fatal.

He said that despite being a dramatic decrease from last year's23,000 cases, children lining up for dengue treatment this late in the year is a bad sign for 2009.

"An outbreak can happen every two years," he said.

National statistics from January to November this year showed that throughout the country 8,783 cases have been recorded by national and Kntha Bopha hospitals, Ngan Chantha, the national dengue control program director at the Ministry of Health, told the Post.

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