Cambodia faces rise in dengue fever occurrence

Cambodia has seen a rise in the number of reported cases of dengue fever in the first three months of this year compared to the first three months of last year.

The Cambodian Ministry of Health recently said that there are now 1,000 more cases reported than at this time last year, according to

Chor Meng Chuor, the director of the National Centre for Parasitology, Entomology and Malaria Control, recently said that 1,393 people are known to have been infected and eight have died in 2012. He made the comments while attending a dengue fever awareness parade involving 600 students in Phnom Penh.

"That's why we're distributing 270 tons of [insecticide] across the country," Chuor said, reports.

The World Health Organization has been helping prepare the Ministry of Health for an upcoming outbreak because the disease tends to spike once every four or five years. The last significant outbreak occurred in 2007. During that time, public health officials recorded 400 deaths and nearly 40,000 infections.

"We don't want to see another year like 2007, so this campaign is very important to alert and awaken parents to this," Chuor said, according to

Steve Bjorge, the malaria and mosquito-borne disease team leader for the WHO in Phnom Penh, said that the upcoming campaign would focus on distributing insecticide to 10 Cambodian provinces.

"Nothing unusual may happen, but it would be prudent to take precautions," Bjorge said, reports.